Following the resignation of Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, two of the top prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump and his company, it seems Trump has once again escaped responsibility.
This time it may not be a bad thing. Based on publicly available evidence, it would be unwise to prosecute Trump through the district attorney’s office.
Manhattan prosecutors investigated whether Trump and the Trump Organization were misleading lenders and others by providing false or misleading financial reports about Trump’s real estate. Trump has was refused allegations, calling the investigation a guerrilla “witch hunt.”
It is noteworthy that the decision not to proceed with the presentation of evidence to the grand jury was made by Democrat, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Bragg said the case is still active, but the resignations and jury attention make it clear that the case is almost closed.
Has he raised the value of his estates or not? The question seems painfully simple. This is not. I have been an attorney for almost 20 years, some of them as a federal prosecutor. I have found that one of the most confusing concepts to explain to others is “criminal intention”: the mental state of an accused that must be determined by prosecutors in order to convict him. Cases grow and end depending on whether prosecutors can prove intentions, which varies from one crime to another.
Here, prosecutors would have to prove not only that he overstated the value of his property, but that he intended to break the law in this way. It is a subtle but profound distinction in which the phrase “ignorance of the law is not an excuse” has no pure application.
The hype is that real estate appraisal is inherently subjective. For example, the fact that I could genuinely believe that my home is worth $ 50 million (recall, it is not) could complicate the ability of prosecutors to prosecute for passing this belief to the lender.
Fraud cases are easiest to prove on the basis of electronic documents linking the defendant with the misconduct. However, Trump is known to rarely use computers and email. There was probably no email with a smoking gun, or a document pulled from the hard drive or cell phone of the accused. This fact may not be fatal if other evidence, especially from witnesses, may have helped establish his state of mind. But who would testify against him? Trump is known to be around loyal senior personnel. For example, Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief of finance faced with criminal tax charges, may have been a promising candidate to testify, but has resisted pressure from prosecutors to do so. (Weisselberg maintains his innocence.) And so far it doesn’t seem like prosecutors can get any solid, recorded testimony from anyone in the inner circle. Which brings us to the possible testimony of ex-Trump, who called himself “fixer,” Michael Cohen. Although Cohen had already testified under oath to Congress about Trump’s assets, it would have been a disaster as a witness. (Trump denies these affairs.) Cohen would face a question of personal bias, given numerous lawsuits against Trump and his associates. whether or not he received a prosecutor’s allowance for his testimony. Trump would not need a skilled attorney; a junior high school student with basic training in a trial trial could spot Cohen’s credibility in the stands, possibly condemning the prosecution case to extermination.
Criminal cases don’t come from the air; prosecutors must be able to prove their facts to a jury beyond reasonable doubt. It would be irresponsible and possibly unethical for lawyers to bring charges that they were not sure would win.
In other words, the fact that something might be true doesn’t mean that even the best prosecutors will be able to find it out in court.
This truth does not comfort people who are frustrated by the fact that nothing is sticking to Trump. They are on something; it could not be a coincidence that the same person or organizations bearing his name would be immediately faced with a civil investigation into a property appraisal by the New York Attorney General; separate criminal investigations from Fulton County, Georgia, and Westchester County, New York, District Attorneys, and Washington’s Attorney General; civil lawsuits alleging improper election proceedings in Delaware County, Pennsylvania and Michigan; defamation lawsuit by a voting machine company; congressional investigations into its tax returns, conflicts of interest, Washington hotel lease and potential mishandling of government documents; civil lawsuits from multiple police officers who were injured on Jan. 6; the January 6th objection by the Special Committee of the House of Representatives that he was involved in a criminal plot to defraud the United States; a defamation suit from the person who accused him of sexual assault; and a suit from his niece about a fraud related to her inheritance. And those were just the ones I remembered. (Trump, the Trump organization, and its campaign deny all misdeeds.)
Those who are frustrated have a right to get frustrated.
While it may be a tempting amalgamation of all the charges against the former president, most have little to do with each other other than their lowest common denominator – the name at the center.
And responsibility does not always come from the criminal justice system. For example, in civil cases, the burden of proof is less than in criminal cases. Trump can face serious civil liability in some places that the criminal justice system cannot reach. More importantly, the allegations – especially those that the judges have checked and allowed to stand – carry some weight outside the courtroom. The staggering number of them shows that the former president was clearly unable to hold office. He should never again be elected office. Congress, led by the overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans, has twice failed American public opinion and history by not taking away its future office after the impeachment trials.
If the avalanche of claims is not enough to convince the electorate to stop rewarding this unhelpful person with a high position, then nothing will. This continuous defeat, which began with his first election in 2016, affects the Americans, not the Manhattan District Attorney.