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Prosector Who Quit Manhattan District Attorney Says Trump Is ‘Guilty Of Numerous Felonies’

One of the two senior prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office who quit last month said he believes Donald Trump is “guilty of numerous felony violations,” and it was a “grave failure of justice” for the newly-elected DA to not prosecute the case.

Last month Mark Pomerantz submitted his letter of resignation, seemingly in protest over the decision by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to not prosecute the former president. His longtime predecessor, DA Cyrus Vance, had convened a grand jury prior to his retirement.

“Mr. Pomerantz, 70, a prominent former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer who came out of retirement to work on the Trump investigation, resigned on the same day as Carey R. Dunne, another senior prosecutor leading the inquiry,” the New York Times reported. “Mr. Bragg’s decision was ‘contrary to the public interest,’ he wrote.”

“The team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes — he did,” Pomerantz added. “I am convinced that a failure to prosecute will pose much greater risks in terms of public confidence in the fair administration of justice.”

According to the Times:

Mr. Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., had decided in his final days in office to move toward an indictment, leaving Mr. Trump just weeks away from likely criminal charges. Mr. Bragg’s decision seems, for now at least, to have removed one of the greatest legal threats Mr. Trump has ever faced.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Former Federal Prosecutor Urges Bragg To Resign Over Aborted SDNY Trump Case

A former federal prosecutor from the storied Southern District of New York (SDNY) is calling on newly-elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to resign over reports he personally quashed the high-profile criminal fraud investigation into Donald Trump, leading the case’s two top prosecutors to resign in frustration.

Richard Signorelli, who served as an assistant U.S. Attorney at SDNY on Monday called Bragg “not competent” and said he “is a threat to our public safety.”

Bragg, who also once served as an assistant U.S. Attorney at SDNY, took office January 1.

He “has violated the public trust and should resign,” says Signorelli, who adds that “Trump is the priority case.”

On Tuesday Signorelli doubled down, slamming U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy AG Lisa Monaco.

“By not prosecuting this career criminal, you enable him,” he charged:

The two prosecutors who were brought in to lead the Trump investigation, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, “resigned after an unnecessary, month-long pause in the team’s interactions with a special grand jury," The New York Times reported last week.

“The duo had grown frustrated that the newly elected DA—Alvin Bragg Jr.—wouldn’t read memos about the case for weeks at a time, and seemed to ditch plans to eventually indict former President Donald Trump himself, according to The Washington Post.”

The Daily Beast adds, “not only did Dunne and Pomerantz write resignation letters, they wrote so extensively about the slow-moving probe that the DA’s office would not turn over copies of their letters.” It calls Pomerantz “a cunning investigator who gained recognition in 1999 for successfully prosecuting John Gotti’s son, John A. Gotti, who followed in his father’s footsteps and eventually became the head of the Gambino crime family.”

Last week a former top Justice Department official declared the Manhattan district attorney’s case against Trump effectively “dead” after the resignations of the two top prosecutors. On Friday Reuters reported Bragg’s office announced a new prosecutor has been put in charge of the case.

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

Manhattan DA’s ‘Doubts’ On Trump Case Lead Top Prosecutors To Quit

Two top prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan District Attorney have “abruptly” resigned, throwing the fraud case against Donald Trump into jeopardy.

The New York Times reports the new Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, “indicated” to the two prosecutors “that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr. Trump. "The prosecutors have not presented the grand jury with any new evidence in the last month.

“Without Mr. Bragg’s commitment to move forward, the prosecutors late last month postponed a plan to question at least one witness before the grand jury,” the Times reveals. “They have not questioned any witnesses in front of the grand jury for more than a month, essentially pausing their investigation into whether Mr. Trump inflated the value of his assets to obtain favorable loan terms from banks.”

Latest Trump Lawyer Turns New York Hearing Into Political Circus

An attorney for Donald Trump turned a (virtual) New York courtroom into a Fox News-style proceeding Thursday.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James is attempting to force Donald Trump, the former president, along with his adult children to sit for depositions related to her investigation into possible fraud at the Trump Organization. Thursday’s hearing was called so New York Supreme Court District Judge Arthur Engoron could hear arguments on the issue.

But Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, had other ideas in mind, as Business Insider reports.

“I want to know,” Habba, in court, asked the NY Attorney General, “are you gonna go after Hillary Clinton for what she’s doing to my client?”

Hillary Clinton is doing nothing to her client, except perhaps making him and the right-wing media silo look bad.

“That she spied at Trump Tower in your state?” Habba continued, which is false. “Are you gonna look into her business dealings?”

Judge Engoron was not impressed.

“The Clintons are not before me,” the judge replied.

NPR host Peter Sagal weighed in, saying: “I’m not a lawyer, but based on her rant in a virtual courtroom just now, I’m not sure Donald Trump’s attorney Alina [Habba] is either.”

“Among other things,” Sagal adds, “she’s speaking to the Judge as if he’s an opponent on a cable news panel, which strikes me as not wise? Also, the [clerk] keeps having to tell her to stop talking over the judge.”

Habba also told the judge AG James is engaged in “selective prosecution,” as Law & Crime News managing editor Adam Klasfeld reports.

“It’s unconstitutional,” she claimed.

“The only reason that she is doing this because he was a former president, and because he sits on the other side of the fence,” she added.

Klasfeld adds that Habba called “for an evidentiary hearing to probe whether this is premised on a ‘political agenda.'”

It appears Habba was putting on a show:

Habba also told the judge that Donald Trump is a “protected class.” When asked to explain, she reportedly referenced his “political speech,” which is not what “protected class” means.

It did not get better for Habba.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet




Under Pressure: Will Ivanka Finally Flip On Daddy?

New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed Ivanka to testify and produce documents related to the Trump Organization's shady business practices. James has also subpoenaed Donald Trump Sr. and Donald Jr. Last October, Eric Trump had his deposition taken in the same probe, and reportedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent over 500 times.

The House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol is also interested in Ivanka. In a letter sent on Jan. 20, the committee asked Ivanka to sit for an interview to discuss the events of January 6, and to share her knowledge of any "conversations [she] may have witnessed or participated in regarding the [former] President’s plan to obstruct or impede the counting of electoral votes."

The letter expressed particular interest in hearing from Ivanka on four overlapping subjects: (1) The ex-president's calls with Mike Pence. (2) Any statements made by the former president on Jan. 6 about the attack on the Capitol. (3) The ex-president's reasons for refusing to summon the National Guard and his delay in urging his supporters to end their siege on the Capitol. (4) And any light Ivanka might be able to shed on her father's activities and conduct in the days after January 6, "including President Trump's state of mind during that period and whether the President took appropriate action regarding the continuing threats of violence."

None of this is good news for someone who wants to redeem her tarnished social image and regain her spot on the glitterati A-list.

Thus far, however, Ivanka has shown no interest in cooperating. She has refused to comply with the New York subpoenas, and publicly has shown no interest in meeting with the select committee.

Both James and the committee appear equally determined. James has asked a New York judge to compel Ivanka's compliance, and the committee has proven that it is willing to play hardball with anyone who snubs it. Just ask Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows.

This is not the first time speculation has arisen that Ivanka might turn against her father. Back in July, after the Manhattan district attorney charged the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with falsifying business records and other financial felonies, Mary Trump, the ex-president's niece, told the Daily Beast that Ivanka was far less likely to remain loyal to her father than Weisselberg.

"I think kind of in the grand scheme of things, as counterintuitive as this might sound...Ivanka has, one, more to lose and, two, more to hang onto. Her husband's family is legitimately very wealthy," Mary Trump said. "If there are two sets of books for Allen, there are two sets of books for other people. And I think we're also going to find that in these millions of pages of documents [that prosecutors have obtained] there will be more evidence."

Even before Mary Trump offered her take, I offered mine in a column I wrote for Salon and Raw Story in early December 2020, suggesting that ultimately the best course for Ivanka might be to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for an immunity agreement to shield herself from personal legal liability.

Two weeks before I wrote the column, The New York Times had reported that James and the Manhattan DA were looking into the Trump Organization for alleged income-tax-avoidance schemes, including questionable deductions claimed for "consulting fees" paid to Ivanka and other individuals and businesses.

In September 2020, the Times published a mammoth expose of Donald Trump's financial dealings, revealing that between 2010 and 2018, the Trump Organization wrote off "$26 million in unexplained 'consulting fees'" as business expenses on its tax returns. The $26 million included $747,622 paid to an unidentified individual. That amount, it turned out, exactly matched income Ivanka listed as consulting fees on the 2017 financial disclosure forms she filed when she joined the White House staff.

There is nothing illegal about receiving compensation for consulting work, provided that services are actually rendered. But Ivanka's consulting services looked anything but routine.

In my column, I quoted comments made by former New York City prosecutor Elura Nanos and CNN legal analyst Elie Honig about the consulting fees. Nanos explained in an article written for the Law & Crime website that Ivanka was "an executive officer of both of the company making the payment and the company doing the consulting. When a key person is on both sides of such a transaction, tax deductions could be illegal if the payments were inflated."

Honig, who spent eight years working as an assistant U.S. prosecuting white-collar crime, described Ivanka's predicament even more bluntly in an on-air interview:

"I used to do Mafia cases. This is exactly what they would do. If they wanted to take money out of a company and put it in the pocket of an individual, they would say, 'We'll just call it a consulting fee.' That does not make it okay on its own. The question… is did Ivanka Trump actually give consulting services worth $747,000? I mean, think about that."

Ivanka reacted to the news back then that she was being investigated in true Trump fashion, rage-tweeting:

"This is harassment pure and simple. This 'inquiry' by NYC democrats is 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage. They know very well that there's nothing here and that there was no tax benefit whatsoever. These politicians are simply ruthless."

The new round of subpoenas from James, combined with the select committee's letter, must make Ivanka wonder, to quote Yogi Berra, if "It's deja vu all over again."

I'm not predicting that Ivanka will suddenly see the light and turn "state's evidence" against her father and siblings as investigators pepper her staccato-style with questions. This isn't an episode of Law and Order. It's real life.

But, then again, Ivanka's real life is about to get far more uncomfortable. In the end, she might just consider the joys and benefits of cooperation. The alternative is to hope for the best and follow Eric's lead of taking the 5th. And that certainly won't be a good look for someone seeking redemption.

Reprinted with permission from Blum's Law

NY Attorney General Letitia James Has Trump Running Scared

Less than two weeks after reports that New York Attorney General Letitia James was seeking to depose Donald Trump in her investigation into his business practices, Trump is suing to end her investigation. He’s doing that at least in part with lawyers paid for by the Republican National Commitee, which has spent more than $120,000 on Trump’s legal bills relating to the investigations by James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance

.“Her mission is guided solely by political animus and a desire to harass, intimidate, and retaliate against a private citizen who she views as a political opponent,” the suit, filed Monday, claims. Where to even start?

First, Trump is the guy who really reintroduced to the United States the idea of overtly trying to criminalize your political opponents, campaigning on “Lock her up” chants and trying to use the power of the presidency to get another country to investigate the person who ultimately defeated him in 2020. It’s predictable but hilarious that he would go all woe-is-me over himself facing an investigation. And note that, unlike Trump’s ideas of how to go after his political opponents, James is doing things by the book. She’s carrying out a methodical investigation. She’s using legal means to try to get Trump to sit for a deposition, as is standard in such a matter.

Second, when it comes to an investigation into his business practices, Trump is “a private citizen.” When it comes to documents relating to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, he’s trying to assert executive privilege, essentially on the claim that he is not a private citizen. He has also leaned on the “special solicitude accorded former Presidents” in his efforts to keep the House Ways and Means Committee from getting his tax returns. (Yet another investigation, Vance’s criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices, already has his tax returns.)

It’s kind of appropriate that this is a legal version of some of the business practices James and Vance are investigating, in which Trump would give vastly different assessments of the value of his assets depending on what was most profitable for him. If he was angling for lower taxes, his buildings were worth practically nothing. If he was trying to get a loan, his buildings were the most valuable property in all of Manhattan. In one case, he told lenders a building was worth $527 million while telling tax officials the same building was worth $16.9 million. Similarly, Trump is either a private citizen or a possessor of executive privilege, depending on which lawsuit or investigation you look at.

The new lawsuit trying to force James to end her investigation sure makes it seem like Trump is sweating over it. And of course this investigation, along with Vance’s and the one by Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah, won’t just go away if Republicans retake the House.

New Probe Is Focused On Financing Of Trump’s Scottish Golf Resorts

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Lawyers affiliated with a global activism organization are intensifying their push for a "McMafia" legal order against former President Donald Trump.

Under that order, Trump would be required to disclose financial origin of his "all-cash purchases and development of his two Scottish golf resorts," HuffPost reports.

Citing the Trump Organization's legal and financial woes with prosecutors in New York, the lawyers argue that their concerns about the Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire properties have merit.

Last week, Kay Springham, a lawyer for the American-based nonprofit Avaaz, laid out his arguments during a virtual hearing with Scotland's highest civil court.

"It's evident from the matters set out in the petition that there are real and substantial concerns about financial arrangements of the Trump Organization, of which Mr. Trump is the sole or principal owner," Springham argued.

Springham also referenced the charges against Allen Weisselberg, former chief financial officer for the Trump Organization. Prosecutors allege Weisselberg was part of "a 15-year tax scheme to defraud the city, state and federal government by concealing the salaries of top company executives."

In fact, Weisselberg is even accused of hiding certain details about more than $1.7 million of his own income.

Springham is now seeking an extension outside of his three-month deadline to prepare a full case for the court, as he noted that the Scottish Parliament voted against a previous motion that would have required Trump to disclose the sources of his cash.

HuffPost reports Judge Lord Sandison said "that as far as the issues raised by the petition were concerned, they passed the test set out by the law, so he was convinced "there is enough to have a sensible argument."

Bannon’s 'Private Border Wall' Partner Indicted For Tax Fraud

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Florida man who served as the co-founder of the "We Build The Wall" project has been indicted on another charge for tax fraud, according to a report from the Associated Press. The latest charges are in addition to his previous tax and fraud charges.

On Tuesday, July 6, Brian Kolfage of Miramar Beach, Florida, was indicted by a grand jury for filing a false tax return. This new charge expands on allegations first brought against Kolfage two months ago. In May, the prosecutors offered details about Kolfage's involvement in a previous scheme "to defraud the government in relation to his 2019 federal income tax returns." The leaders of the "We Build the Wall" project were first indicted for allegedly defrauding donors in August 2020.

Per the AP:

"Kolfage received hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple organizations during 2019, including We Build the Wall Inc., which were deposited into his personal bank account, prosecutors said. Kolfage failed to report this income to the IRS, officials said. The new charge is related to Kolfage filing a false amended tax return in December 2020, investigators said."

Last year, Kolfage and Steve Bannon were indicted by a New York federal grand jury as prosecutors alleged they "worked to divert some of the $25 million raised for the wall project for their own personal use." Former President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon for the charges prior to leaving office.

Attorneys for Kolfage have not yet responded to the AP's requests for comment.