One of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century is why Donald Trump has never once been held accountable for a lifetime of wildly corrupt behavior. Whether it’s fraudulent tax schemes, attempting to extort Ukraine, stiffing contractors, lying about a deadly virus, inciting a violent insurrection, or allegedly raping a woman in a department store—which he of course denies—the guy has managed to avoid any and all repercussions, aside from a financial settlement here and there. So when the veteran prosecutors leading the Manhattan district attorney‘s investigation of the former president’s business practices abruptly resigned last month, reportedly because the new D.A., Alvin Bragg, had doubts about taking the case to court, it felt like yet another deeply frustrating instance of Trump getting away with everything. And according to one of those prosecutor’s resignation letters, he feels the same way!
In a letter dated February 23 and obtained by The New York Times, attorney Mark Pomerantz wrote that Trump is “guilty of numerous felony violations” and that it was a major “failure of justice” not to hold him accountable. “The team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes—he did.”
According to the Times, prior to Pomerantz’s resignation, which came alongside the resignation of the other prosecutor leading the probe into Trump, Carey Dunne, Bragg had expressed doubt that the D.A. could prove Trump had “knowingly falsified the value of his assets on annual financial statements.“ Pomerantz and Dunne believed they could show he’d purposely inflated his assets when obtaining loans. Bragg apparently did not, and “balked at pursuing an indictment against Mr. Trump, a decision that shut down Mr. Pomerantz’s and Mr. Dunne’s presentation of evidence to a grand jury and prompted their resignations.”
While maintaining the office did indeed have the evidence to prove Trump’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt,” Pomerantz noted that “no case is perfect,” and a fear over losing a trial is not a valid reason to forgo indicting a criminal. “Respect for the rule of law, and the need to reinforce the bedrock proposition that ‘no man is above the law,’ require that this prosecution be brought even if a conviction is not certain,” he said. He added that “Whatever the risks of bringing the case may be, I am convinced that a failure to prosecute will pose much greater risks in terms of public confidence in the fair administration of justice.”
While Bragg has said the office’s investigation continues, and that things could pick up speed again if fresh evidence is uncovered or a Trump insider decides to spill on their boss, insiders see both scenarios as extremely unlikely. “There are always additional facts to be pursued,” Pomerantz said. “But the investigative team that has been working on this matter for many months does not believe that it makes law enforcement sense to postpone a prosecution in the hope that additional evidence will somehow emerge.” Noting that Bragg “devoted significant time and energy to understanding the evidence” in the case, and undoubtedly made his decision in good faith, Pomerantz wrote that “a decision made in good faith may nevertheless be wrong.” He added, depressingly: “I and others believe that your decision not to authorize prosecution now will doom any future prospects that Mr. Trump will be prosecuted for the criminal conduct we have been investigating.”
In a statement, Trump’s lawyer told the Times that charges were not justified and that Pomerantz “had the opportunity to present the fruits of his investigation to the D.A. and his senior staff on several occasions and failed.” The Trump Organization dubbed Pomerantz “a never-Trumper” and said: “Never before have we seen this level of corruption in our legal system.” The D.A.’s office is staying quiet on the case, which it told the Times is “ongoing.”
Meanwhile, Pomerantz isn’t the only prosecutor to say he has clear-cut evidence Trump engaged in fraud. Last month, New York attorney general Letitia James wrote that she has “significant evidence” the Trump Organization engaged in such activity. She is currently attempting to question the former president, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump under oath, but for some reason they’ve refused to do so thus far.
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