March 24, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Manhattan indictment against Trump is unlikely

Manhattan indictment against Trump is unlikely

The investigation is ongoing, but the allegations are long overdue and may never come

Posted at 7:00 p.m.

Ben Proteus, Jonah E. Bromwich, William K. Rushbaum and Lanan Nguyen
The New York Times

(New York) When two dozen New Yorkers went to Manhattan court this week to complete their grand jury duty, the man’s case against the world’s most famous man was not before their eyes.

That man, Donald Trump, faces potentially indictments from the grand jury this year over his business practices. But as Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg has failed to provide judges with evidence about Trump, new signs are emerging that the former president may not be charged in Manhattan in the near future.

According to people who are aware of the case, the witnesses at the center of the case have not heard from the prosecutor’s office for at least three months or asked to testify.

In recent weeks, prosecutors at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, who played a key role in the investigation, have focused on a potential case against Trump, other people who are aware of the investigation said – following his resignation earlier this year. Two senior prosecutors are leading the investigation.

The rest of the prosecutors working on the Trump trial left the “Crisis Cell” used to prepare their grand jury presentation earlier this year, witnesses said, leaving the spacious office suite and conference room at 15.And Downstairs is the District Attorney’s Office floor in Manhattan.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz, Reuters Archives

Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney

The expiration of the Grand Jury term at the end of the month did not prevent the prosecutors from appointing a new jury. Recent developments, however, underscore that Trump, under the leadership of Alvin Bragg, who is concerned about the strength of the case, along with many other prosecutors, is less likely to face charges. Some people close to the trial believe it will not lead to an indictment against the former president unless a witness inadvertently cooperates – which is unlikely in an investigation that has lasted more than three years. .

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“A work in progress”

In recent weeks, Bragg’s prosecutors have provided some additional subpoenas, suggesting that they continue to investigate, but have not found a new way to convict Trump. According to people familiar with the case, these as-yet-unreported subpones appear to be related to the same subject matter that has been under investigation for a long time, i.e. Mr. Did Trump misrepresent the value of his assets in his annual financial statements.

Rather than follow the new theory of the case, Mr. While Bragg was seeking loans and pursuing other activities, Mr. The subpoenas indicate that Trump is interested in other companies that have received financial reports and that prosecutors are looking for potential victims. Former President.

One of the subpoenas was issued to the major financial institution that received Mr. Trump’s financial statements. The second subpoena sent to the Trump organization followed an earlier request to the company for documents relating to the value of its assets. The New York City agency has a third subpona responsible for tracking city suppliers, including Trump, who runs a golf course in the Bronx and an ice rink in Central Park.

In an interview this month, Mr. Bragg said his prosecutors are interviewing new witnesses and reviewing additional evidence. He declined to provide details citing the Grand Jury Privacy Act, but said the investigation should be allowed to remain on its course.

“It’s in progress,” he said. Said Bragg.

But assembling a new grand jury can pose challenges to any potential case. Trump’s lawyers can argue – and a judge can agree with them – that prosecutors have hunted down a group of judges who are more supportive.

It can also take months to prepare a new presentation of evidence and submit the case to the judges.

Mr. Bragg’s office does not have unlimited time to prosecute Trump. Witnesses may forget key information. Although there are some exceptions that extend the deadline, prosecutors also face a deadline to file charges within five years of any crime being committed. If Mr. Trump announces a new candidate for the presidency, Mr. Bragg is likely to come under political pressure not to impeach the White House top candidate.

Civil Inquiry

Although the criminal investigation has faded from public view, New York State Attorney General Letitia James appears poised to take action against Mr Trump as part of his investigation into whether he misrepresented the value of his assets in his annual financial statements. It is the center of criminal investigation.

Photo by Eduardo Munoz, Reuters Archives

Letitia James, New York State Attorney General

At Monday’s hearing, Mr. For failing to fully comply with the subpoena to submit documents from Trump, Mr. The judge found Trump contempt of court.Me James, a lawyer in his office, said the attorney general was likely to take action against the former president in the near future. Since his trial was civil, Mr.Me James could sue, but could not bring charges.

Trump has long denied that he did anything wrong and that Mr Bragg and MMe James, blacks and Democrats, were politically motivated “racists”. If he is eventually prosecuted or convicted, his lawyers will provoke a denial that his financial statements have not been audited by his accountants and submitted to sophisticated financial institutions that have maintained their own attention.

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James’ office is also involved in the District Attorney’s criminal investigation, which was started three years ago by Bragg’s ancestor, Cyrus Vance Jr.