Incoming Manhattan-area District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr., who is set to formally take office on January 1, “says he plans to personally focus on the high-profile probe into former President Donald Trump’s business practices and may expand the investigative team while keeping at least one senior prosecutor on the case,” per a new report from CNN. Referring to the matter, he said that it’s “obviously a consequential case, one that merits the attention of the DA personally.” The case has already culminated in tax evasion charges for the Trump company and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, but the underlying investigation has been continuing, and additional charges are possible.
Guardian US: Trump is perturbed by aides invoking the Fifth Amendment – makes them look weak and criminal, he has told associates – and considers them foolish for not following Bannon in ignoring subpoenas.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 20, 2021
Bragg wants other high-profile people to remain involved in the issue too, including Carey Dunne, who serves as general counsel to the outgoing District Attorney, and Mark Pomerantz, an ex-federal prosecutor who eventually joined the team. As Bragg put it, it’s “hard for me to evaluate not knowing the facts, but just having worked on lots of investigations that are complex, I can say that you’ve got two very good lawyers that have been looking at it for a while. I think it would be a disservice to Manhattan to lose them.” Dunne, CNN notes, handled arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in proceedings in which Trump was trying to block the Manhattan-area District Attorney’s office from obtaining certain financial records of his. Ultimately, the Supreme Court declined to block the records transfer, even with Trump’s own appointees serving on the bench.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger to ABC on whether the committee will subpoena Trump: "If we need it, yes. Nobody should be above the law."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 20, 2021
Bragg added that “Carey and Mark have been doing this a long time” and he “[wants] to hear what they’re thinking. I’ll bring my experience to bear. I may add other people to the team.” The tax evasion charges relate to the Trump company doling out pricey executive benefits without the required taxes getting paid. Going forward, prosecutors are also looking at whether the Trump company fraudulently adjusted valuations of its assets in hopes of obtaining financial benefits such as favorable loan terms and tax breaks.
After spending so much time working on exposing how Trump literally tried to end American democracy, it almost makes us yearn for the simpler days of telling people about how he was using the government as his personal piggy bank
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) December 20, 2021
This matter has been under investigation in New York for some time, although recently, authorities “have begun bringing witnesses before the grand jury, including a key Trump accountant and two Forbes journalists,” according to CNN, which adds that prosecutors “have also recently interviewed employees from Deutsche Bank, one of Trump’s main lenders.” New York state Attorney General Letitia James is seeking to obtain testimony from Trump early next year as part of her office’s ongoing civil investigation of related issues — although going after Trump’s testimony and actually getting it are two very different things. Read more at this link.
Jan. 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger says on ABC’s This Week they have more incriminating messages involving the Trump White House: “There are more texts out there that we haven’t released.”
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 19, 2021