According to a new report from Chicago news outlet WBEZ, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has been in touch with local authorities in Chicago regarding a Trump development in the city as their investigation continues.
That development, the Trump International Hotel and Tower, was supported by a $130 million loan from Fortress Investment Management that has already figured into Vance’s team’s ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump family business. Eventually, the lender forgave $100 million of its loan to Trump, and authorities in Vance’s office and on the team of New York state Attorney General Letitia James have been looking into whether the Trump Organization reported this loan forgiveness appropriately on its tax returns.
Democratic Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough told WBEZ the following, discussing New York authorities in Vance’s office:
‘They’re good at turning over rocks, OK? And the fact that they’re in Chicago turning over rocks, I’m not surprised, not surprised at all. As I said, we’re going to see where this is going or if it’s going anywhere. But I’m not surprised at anything that I see and hear about what’s going on with the New York District Attorney’s office, but clearly there is some smoke.’
As summarized by WBEZ, which was the first to reveal these contacts between Vance’s team and Chicago authorities, “Between September and November of last year, a representative from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau in the New York City District Attorney’s office exchanged emails with the Cook County recorder to inquire about obtaining records associated with Trump’s high-rise here.” The communications indicated that Vance’s team hoped to obtain the records that they were after without needing to issue a subpoena.
Daniel Kenny, who works as a financial intelligence analyst on Vance’s team, communicated with Khang P. Trinh, the chief legal counsel for the Cook County recorder, a local Chicago-area authority. Among other details, Kenny asked about a particular property identification number, but WBEZ said that they were unable to find any connection between the corresponding condominium in Trump’s Chicago development and Trump personally, so the nature of prosecutors’ interest in the particular condo is not clear.
No charges have yet emerged in connection to Vance’s investigation, but charges could be on the horizon. Recently, former longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who has been interviewed over half a dozen times as part of Vance’s probe, said that he believes that prosecutors have “more than” enough evidence to bring charges against Trump if the team pursues that option.