Tag: trump criminal probe
Prosecutors Leading New York District Attorney's Trump Probe Resign

Prosecutors Leading New York District Attorney's Trump Probe Resign

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two prosecutors who had been leading the Manhattan district attorney's criminal probe into former President Donald Trump and his business practices have resigned, the district attorney's office said on Wednesday.

Special Counsel Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz submitted their resignations after District Attorney Alvin Bragg, in office less than two months, indicated to them that he had doubts about pursuing a case against Trump, the New York Times said, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

"We are grateful for their service," said Bragg spokeswoman Danielle Filson, referring to Dunne and Pomerantz, an outside attorney brought in to work on the probe. "The investigation is ongoing."

Dunne and Pomerantz could not immediately be reached for comment.

"“It’s a great day,” said Ron Fischetti, a lawyer for Trump. “In my mind, the case is over."

Fischetti cautioned he had not received official notification of any criminal action against Trump ending.

The resignations come as New York Attorney General Letitia James ramps up her civil probe into Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization.

Last week, a state judge directed the former U.S. president and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to answer questions in that investigation under oath in depositions.

James joined Bragg's criminal probe last May.

Trump, a Republican, has previously denied wrongdoing and said the state and city investigations were politically motivated. James, Bragg and his predecessor, Cyrus Vance, are all Democrats.

In a statement referring to the criminal probe, James' office said: "The investigation is ongoing and there is a robust team in place that is working on it."

Both probes focus on whether Trump misrepresented the value of his real estate properties.

Investigators are looking into whether values were inflated to obtain bank loans and reduced to lower tax bills.

The criminal probe was begun by longtime District Attorney Vance, who did not seek re-election and was succeeded by Bragg.

It resulted last July in tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. Both pleaded not guilty and are seeking dismissals.

Donald Trump faces multiple criminal and civil investigations, including in Georgia where a prosecutor won permission to convene a grand jury to look into the then-president's efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state.

Trump is also among those being investigated by a U.S. House of Representatives select committee looking into the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs

Arizona Secretary Of State Seeks Criminal Probe Of Trump

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Following the 2020 presidential election, then-President Donald Trump tried to overturn the election results in Arizona. It didn't work: conservative Republican Gov. Doug Ducey certified now-President Joe Biden's victory, much to Trump's chagrin — and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, another GOP conservative, stressed that there was no evidence to support Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud in Arizona. Now, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, a Democrat, is asking Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to launch a criminal investigation of Trump for possible election interference.

On July 7, Hobbs asked Republican Brnovich's office to investigate whether or not Trump tried to improperly influence Maricopa County election supervisors in 2020 while the votes were still being counted. Fox News' decision desk called Arizona for Biden on Election Night, November 3, and the Associated Press called Arizona for Biden about three hours later. But other major news outlets held off on calling Arizona for the former vice president and ex-U.S. senator.

Trump was furious with Fox News for calling Arizona for Biden, repeatedly insisting that he won the state and putting pressure on Arizona election officials.

Arizona Republic reporter Yvonne Wingett Sanchez explains, "Hobbs said some of the communications 'involve clear efforts to induce supervisors to refuse to comply with their duties,' which could violate Arizona law. She cited the Arizona Republic's reporting last week on text messages and voicemails from the White House, Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward to the Republican members of the Board of Supervisors."

Hobbs, in a letter e-mailed to Brnovich wrote, "The reporting also includes firsthand statements from the victims of this potential crime."

Hobbs isn't the only Arizona Democrat who is calling for an investigation of Trump's efforts to overturn the election results in that southwestern state, which was deeply Republican in the past but has evolved into a swing state with two Democratic U.S. senators: Sen. Mark Kelly and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. It was also on July 7 that Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego asked Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the possibility that Trump and his allies committed "an extremely serious crime" with their "pressure campaign" to overturn the election results. That "pressure campaign," Gallego said, shows "a disturbing trend following the 2020 election of Trump advisors and allies, and even former President Trump himself, committing potential crimes to overturn the election."

Hobbs and Brnovich are both candidates in the 2022 midterms. Hobbs is seeking the Democratic nomination in Arizona's gubernatorial race, while Brnovich is seeking the GOP nomination in Arizona's 2022 U.S. Senate race.

Manhattan DA Follows Money In Trump Probe With Top Exec's Testimony

Manhattan DA Follows Money In Trump Probe With Top Exec's Testimony

NEW YORK — Manhattan prosecutors delving into ex-President Donald Trump's business affairs reportedly presented a grand jury testimony by a Trump Organization official described in documents obtained by The New York Daily News as the man who “took care of the actual movement of money." Jeff McConney — the senior vice president and controller of the Trump Organization — testified before the Manhattan grand jury recently impaneled by District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr., according to ABC News, which cited two sources with direct knowledge. The News was not able to confirm that McConney has testified....

Former President Trump

How Trump Plans To Defame New York Prosecutors Probing His Business

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

While the criminal investigations of former President Donald Trump often make the news with fresh developments, many of these revelations don't truly amount to much. On Tuesday, though, there was a significant exception to this pattern when multiple reports found that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who is working with the state's Attorney General Letitia James, has impaneled a special grand jury of his investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization. This suggests that serious charges may be on the horizon.

After the news broke, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, a longtime close observer of the president, explained how he will fight back against the investigations as it threatens to ensnare him or his interests.

"Trump is going to use talk of running again as a way to tar the Vance/James probes," she wrote on Twitter. "From his latest statement in response to the grand jury being empaneled: 'Interesting that today a poll came out indicating I'm far in the lead for the Republican Presidential Primary…'"

He has already suggested that he intends to run for president again in 2024 (even as he insists that he really won in 2020 and thus should be president now.) It's one way he can maintain power in the Republican Party and at least some level of attention from the media.

But Haberman is right that dangling a run — genuine or not — can be helpful in his effort to tar the investigations that target him. As long as he remains a potential candidate, he can say that criminal charges are just an effort to keep him out of power by his political enemies. Of course, that won't make an indictment go away — but it will likely be a potent message for his fans.

Since many are already primed to believe the 2020 election was stolen from him, it's not hard to imagine the prospect of his facing serious criminal charges could inspire more dangerous and lawless actions from his supporters like those seen on January 6.

In the case of Letitia James, the criticism that she's a political enemy of his does have some genuine force. She explicitly campaigned in 2018 on investigating Trump, and she has used her investigation of him to elevate her profile. Vance is a more complicated story though. A ProPublica report actually found that Vance went easy on the Trump family as his office prepared to indict two of Trump's children in 2012. After Trump's lawyer Marc Kasowitz donated $25,000 to Vance, he reportedly overruled his own prosecutors and declined to bring the charges.