New York’s grand jury case against Donald Trump is ending without charges for the ex-president, as a lengthy criminal investigation into alleged manipulation of property assets to secure tax advantages or better loan rates is set to expire this week.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg (D) inherited the case from former DA, Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (who famously accepted campaign donations from Harvey Weinstein to quash a #MeToo investigation).
According to the Washington Post, Bragg decided not to move forward and ask the grand jury to vote on charges – mostly because the new DA had major issues using former Trump fixer Michael Cohen as a star witness.
Bragg has said he will announce when the investigation is over, noting that even after the special grand jury disbanded, other grand juries hearing a broad range of criminal cases in New York would be available to take action in this one if needed. -WaPo
The expiration of the grand jury comes after two senior prosecutors (Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne) quit the case in February after claiming Bragg was stalling the inquiry. Cohen said he met with investigators from the DA’s office around a dozen times, but that nobody has contacted him since the two departures.
According to Pomerantz, Trump’s ““financial statements were false, and he has a long history of fabricating information relating to his personal finances and lying about his assets to banks, the national media, counterparties, and many others, including the American people.”
Meanwhile, attorneys for NY Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) office told WaPo that it’s unlikely a criminal case will be brought, despite a spokeswoman for James saying that the investigation is ongoing.
James is looking into Trump’s business practices. On Monday, a lawyer from her office said a lawsuit could be filed in that case soon. Last week a judge held Trump in contempt for failing to provide James’ office with business records – fining him $10,000 per day until he complies. Trump’s attorneys are appealing the order, as well as another one from New York Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron which require Trump and two of his adult children to be deposed by James’ team.
On Friday, Engoron rejected a bid by Trump to purge the contempt ruling after he and his attorneys submitted affidavits. The affidavits “fail to specify” who conducted searches for the requested documents, or where and when searches took place, the judge said. He called Trump’s two-paragraph sworn statement “completely devoid of any useful detail.” -WaPo
Trump and team maintain they did nothing illegal regarding the Trump Organization’s asset valuations – accusing James of waging lawfare against him in a personal vendetta.