Justice seekers were disturbed by the news broken by The New York Times today that two of the prosecutors leading the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into the business practices of Donald Trump and the Trump Organization had resigned after the newly elected D.A., Alvin Bragg, expressed doubts about moving forward with the case.
Perhaps no one, however, was more upset about the news than former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen, who took to Twitter to declare that any decision not to pursue an indictment against the twice-impeached former president would be “a dereliction of duty to all New Yorkers and the Country.”
“I am deeply disturbed by this report. I know the information in the NYDA’s possession and not to indict is a dereliction of duty to all New Yorkers and the Country.” Prosecutors Leading Trump Fraud Investigation in NY Resign – The @nytimes https://t.co/wPtkxNraOT
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) February 23, 2022
Cohen — who was sentenced to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to eight counts related to his work for Donald Trump, including lying to Congress, campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and bank fraud — is in a good position to know exactly what information is in the NYDA’s possession since he turned state’s witness against his former boss and provided copious information to prosecutors including at least 14 million documents.
The former Trump Organization “fixer” also testified in televised hearings before the House Oversight Committee, describing his former employer as a “racist,” a “con man”, and a “cheat” who had reimbursed Cohen for illegal hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, suggested that his own lawyer should lie to Congress and the public about the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations, and filed false financial statements with banks and insurance companies.
Michael Cohen and other legal observers fear that with the resignations of the prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, the multi-year investigation could grind to a halt without bringing charges against Trump, his family, and their holding company, The Trump Organization.
While the resignations of both Dunne and Pomerantz have been confirmed by District Attorney Bragg’s office, neither of the prosecutors has offered any additional comments on the reasons for their departure.
Although a spokesman for Bragg said that he was “grateful” for the service of the two prosecutors and that the investigation would be ongoing, unnamed internal sources with knowledge of the matter say that prosecutors in the case “have not questioned any witnesses in front of the grand jury for more than a month,” according to The New York Times.
It is still not clear exactly why Bragg seems to be stalling in his pursuit of criminal charges against Trump and his cronies.
The parallel civil case being spearheaded by NY State Attorney General Letitia James and investigating much of the same actions as the criminal case has been moving full-speed ahead, with a judge ruling this week that Trump and his two eldest children, Don Jr. and Ivanka, must sit for depositions that they fought an expensive legal battle to avoid. Eric Trump has already been forced to sit for a deposition in the civil investigation in which he reportedly invoked the Fifth Amendment repeatedly.
The bar for conviction in a civil case is lower, however than what must be proved in a criminal case, so that could be the reason for District Attorney Bragg’s seeming reluctance to move forward aggressively at this point.
Michael Cohen is indignant over the idea that the Manhattan D.A. will not pursue criminal charges — particularly when he served “hard time” for activities done at his former employer’s direction — at least one lawyer with knowledge of the evidence against the Trump Organization and its principals believes that a huge miscarriage of justice is in the making.
Original reporting by William K. Rashbaum, Ben Protess, Jonah E. Bromwich, Kate Christobek and Nate Schweber at The New York Times.
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.