NEW YORK (AP) — The two prosecutors leading the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump and his business associates abruptly resigned on Wednesday, questioning the future of the investigation as they that pressure was mounting on Trump on multiple legal fronts.
A spokesman for District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed the resignations of Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, senior deputies who had been tasked with carrying out the day-to-day investigation. Both began the Trump investigation under former district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., and Bragg asked them to stay when he took office in January.
Dunne, the former general counsel for the office, appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court in a successful, years-long fight over Trump’s tax records. Pomerantz, a former mob prosecutor, was pulled out of private practice by Vance last year to add his expertise in white-collar investigations and had been involved in the questioning of witnesses before the grand jury.
“We are grateful for their service,” Bragg spokeswoman Danielle Filson said. She declined to comment further, saying the investigation was ongoing.
The New York Times, citing sources, reported that the grand jury investigation had stalled, without a session for the past month, and that Dunne and Pomerantz resigned after Bragg raised doubts about the prosecution. a case against Trump himself. No former president has ever been charged with a crime.
So far, the nearly 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 benefits lucrative social benefits such as rent, car payments and school fees.
Messages seeking comment were left for Dunne and Pomerantz.
Trump did not immediately respond to the news. In a telephone interview, his lawyer Robert Fischetti said: “I am a very happy man. In my opinion, this investigation is over.
Fischetti said Bragg did not tell him about the status of the investigation or potential charges against Trump but, given Thursday’s developments, the attorney said it appeared the prosecutor had looked into the case. and signaled to his deputies that he was not inclined to pursue an indictment.
“My client did nothing wrong,” Fischetti said.
The resignations were likely to further embolden Trump, a Republican who continues to tease another presidential bid in 2024, after several recent legal setbacks. Trump has repeatedly denounced New York’s investigations as baseless and politically motivated, saying in a statement last week that Democratic prosecutors were spending “historic amounts of time, energy and money trying” to get Trump “”.
But Trump’s legal challenges continue. Last week, a New York judge ordered him to testify under oath in a parallel civil investigation focused in part on whether his company misrepresented the value of assets, a Washington, D.C. judge declined to dismiss the claims. conspiracy charges trying to hold him responsible for the January bombing. On February 6, 2021, the United States Capitol riot and the National Archives disclosed that classified information was found in 15 boxes of White House documents taken to his home in Mar-a-Lago.
Meanwhile, the January 6 committee continues to investigate the insurgency and Trump’s role in inciting it, and an investigation in Georgia continues into whether Trump broke the law by trying to pressure state officials to overturn President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory. A special grand jury is expected to be seated in May in this case and will work for up to a year.
READ MORE: Trump Organization and CFO Weisselberg ask judge to dismiss tax evasion case
The Manhattan district attorney’s office began investigating Trump in 2019, first looking into silent payments made to women on his behalf, then expanding into an investigation into whether the president’s company deceived lenders or tax authorities on the value of its properties.
Bragg said last month that he was proud of the continuity Dunne and Pomerantz had brought to the conduct of the high-profile investigation as he took over the prosecutor’s office from Vance, who declined to appear in court. re-election after winning Trump’s tax battle. Return.
“I think the only continuity is staffing and (Vance) brought in some amazing lawyers to do that,” Bragg said during a Jan. 20 question-and-answer session with reporters.
“And they were dedicated and we worked and kept them in place and thought about what kind of resources to continue the investigation to then be able to make” decisions about the direction of the investigation, Bragg said. . .
Bragg, restricted by ethics rules from discussing the case in detail, said at the time that he was getting to know the Trump investigation and would “follow the facts.” He did not offer a timeline for a charging decision.
“It’s an issue that is personally, as you can imagine, on my radar screen and one that I watch and pay attention to,” Bragg said.
Weisselberg, the only person charged in the investigation, pleaded not guilty to the charges he levied and did not pay taxes on more than $1.7 million in unofficial compensation.
On Tuesday, attorneys for Weisselberg and the Trump Organization filed court documents seeking to dismiss the case. Lawyers for Weisselberg argued that the prosecutor’s office was targeting him as punishment because he would not turn against the former president.