Last Updated on February 23, 2022
The two prosecutors in charge of the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal investigation into former President Trump and his business interests abruptly resigned on Wednesday. The sudden resignations have left the probe in serious jeopardy.
A spokesperson for District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed the resignations of prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz. Both started on the probe under former District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and were asked to stay when Bragg took office in January. Pomerantz has spent time as a mafia prosecutor and has worked on several white-collar investigations while Dunne had worked on the Trump probe for years.
Bragg reportedly told the prosecutors that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Trump, according to the New York Times. Without Bragg’s commitment, the two prosecutors postponed a plan to question at least one witness before a grand jury. As a whole, the probe has reportedly been shelved for over a month as the new city government gets settled in.
The Manhattan D.A’s investigation to tax fraud charges last July against the Trump Organization and its longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg. On Tuesday, lawyers for Weisselberg and the Trump Organization filed court papers seeking to throw out the case. Weisselberg’s lawyers argued the D.A.’s office was targeting him as punishment because he wouldn’t flip on the former president.
In a statement responding to the resignations of the prosecutors, a spokeswoman for D.A. Bragg said that he was “grateful for their service” and that the investigation was ongoing. The future of the probe is very much in doubt, however, as the grand jury’s term is set to expire in April. Prosecutors can ask jurors to vote to extend their term, but this is not generally requested. It is also unlikely that a new grand jury will be impaneled as witnesses can give conflicting testimony.
Manhattan’s probe is not connected with a civil inquiry led by New York state Attorney General Letitia James. Although James’ civil investigation is separate from the criminal investigation, her office has been involved in both. The New York AG has dispatched several lawyers to work with prosecutors from the Manhattan D.A.’s office and it was evidence uncovered in James’ civil investigation that led to criminal charges against Weisselberg. A judge last week ruled that Trump and his two eldest children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. must answer questions under oath as part of the civil inquiry.
Trump and his organization have thrown cold water on the “politically motivated” investigations.