Trump ‘guilty of numerous criminal offences’

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor who led a criminal investigation into Donald Trump before he resigned last month said in his resignation letter that he believes the former president was “guilty of numerous criminal violations” and that he disagreed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s decision. not to seek indictment.

In the letter, published by The New York Times on Wednesday, Mark Pomerantz told District Attorney Alvin Bragg that there was “sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt” of the allegations. that he falsified financial statements to secure loans and improve his image as a wealthy businessman.

“The team that investigated Mr. Trump has no doubts whether he committed any crimes — he did,” Pomerantz wrote.

Pomerantz and his former co-lead on the Trump investigation, Carey Dunne, resigned Feb. 23 after clashing with Bragg over the future of the case.

Both were senior deputies in charge of carrying out the day-to-day investigation. Both began the investigation under former district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and Bragg asked them to stay on when he took office in January. Vance and Bragg are both Democrats.

In his resignation letter, Pomerantz wrote that Vance had ordered his deputies to present evidence to a grand jury and seek the indictment of Trump and the other defendants “as soon as reasonably possible.” No former president has ever been charged with a crime.

“I believe your decision not to prosecute Donald Trump now, and based on the existing record, is wrong and completely contrary to the public interest,” Pomerantz wrote.

Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for Bragg, said in a statement late Wednesday that the investigation into Trump is continuing and that a “team of experienced prosecutors are working every day to follow the facts and the law. There is nothing that we can or should tell at this stage of an ongoing investigation.

A message seeking comment was left for Trump’s attorney.

Trump called the investigation a politically motivated “witch hunt.”

The Associated Press requested copies of Pomerantz and Dunne’s resignation letters under New York’s Open Records Act, but the district attorney’s office denied the request on February 25.

In its denial, the office said, “The criminal case that has been assigned to the two individuals remains pending; as such, the public release of letters that reflect internal deliberations and opinions on an ongoing investigation will likely interfere with that investigation.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office began investigating Trump in 2019, first looking into cash payments made to women on his behalf, then expanding into an investigation into whether the president’s company deceived lenders or the tax authorities on the value of its properties.

So far, the three-year investigation has only resulted in tax evasion charges against Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, over lucrative employee benefits such as rent, car payments and school fees.

Pomerantz, a former mob prosecutor, was pulled out of private practice by Vance to add his expertise in white-collar investigations to the Trump investigation. Dunne argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in a successful, years-long fight over Trump’s tax records.

After taking office in January, Bragg said he was proud of the continuity Dunne and Pomerantz had brought to the conduct of the high-profile investigation as he took over the district attorney’s office from Vance, who took his retirement after a dozen years in power.

Also in January, New York Attorney General Letitia James claimed in court documents filed in a parallel civil investigation that her office had uncovered evidence that the Trump Organization had used “fraudulent” assessments. or misleading” of assets to obtain loans and tax benefits.

Trump gave his financial disclosure statement – ​​an annual overview of his holdings – to banks to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in loans on properties such as a Wall Street office building and a golf course in Florida, and to financial magazines to justify his place among the world’s billionaires.

His lawyers argued that the statements were accurate and that any attempt to turn disagreements over real estate values ​​into a crime was politically motivated.

Some legal experts had said Manhattan prosecutors faced a potential hurdle in proving that Trump or his company intentionally falsified financial statements.

In his resignation letter, Pomerantz wrote that Trump should be prosecuted “without further delay,” noting that much of the evidence related to Trump’s pre-presidency period that the investigation had already been protracted by the battle tax returns and other fights.

Waiting to see if more damning evidence could be found would likely be fruitless, he wrote, and would only “raise additional questions about not holding Mr. Trump accountable for his criminal conduct.”

“No case is perfect. Whatever the risks of bringing the case, I am confident that a failure to prosecute will pose far greater risks in terms of public confidence in the proper administration of justice,” he said. writes Pomerantz.

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Follow Michael Sisak on Twitter at twitter.com/mikesisak

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