Criminal investigation into Trump and his company continues as prosecutors review new evidence, NY DA says

“Every day we keep track of the new evidence that we have obtained,” Alvin Bragg Jr. told CNN in an interview. “The investigations are not linear, so we are following the leads that are in front of us. That is what we are doing… The investigation is ongoing.”

The comments by Bragg, a former federal prosecutor and New York assistant attorney general, are aimed at ending speculation that he has closed the long-running investigation and come six weeks after prosecutors left and Trump’s lawyers nearly testified. the victory.

Bragg said he wanted the public to understand that he can’t talk about the “meat” of the investigation, but said when it’s over he will inform the public of his conclusion, whether it’s an indictment or the case being closed without charges.

Bragg did not put a timeline on the case, saying the investigations are not “linear.”

“When I was in the Attorney General’s office as deputy director overseeing the entire office, I led the team that led the successful litigation against the former president and the Trump Foundation. So I do what comes my way. That’s what I’ve done as a prosecutor. career, follow the facts and we’ll go where they take us and that’s what we’re doing every day in the office,” Bragg said.

He also said he would leave “no stone unturned” in the Trump investigation.

Bragg’s first three months in office have been marred by rising crime in New York, a “day one” memo that put him at odds with the New York Police Department, and the resignation of veteran prosecutors. leading the Trump investigation: Mark Pomerantz. and Carey Dunne.

In late February, they resigned after Bragg said he would not authorize them to bring criminal charges before the special grand jury at the time, CNN reported.

In his resignation letter, which was reviewed by CNN, Pomerantz said he believed Trump was guilty of numerous serious crimes and that Bragg’s decision not to pursue an indictment at the time was “wrong” and a “serious failure of Justice”.

“I think your decision not to prosecute Donald Trump now, and on the existing record, is wrong and completely contrary to the public interest,” Pomerantz added.

Pomerantz also said the office had “sufficient evidence to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt… I also do not believe that suspending the investigation pending further developments will lead to a stronger case or dispel his reluctance to present charges.”

He also said: “Others and I believe that your decision not to authorize prosecution now will ruin any future prospect of Mr. Trump being prosecuted for the criminal conduct we have been investigating.”

Bragg declined to elaborate on Pomerantz’s decision.

“I’m not going to presume to speak for anyone else,” Bragg said. “But to me I thought there were more roads, more work to do, more things that we could keep track of. That’s what our team is doing every day.”

Separately Thursday, New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday asked a state court to hold Trump in civil contempt for allegedly failing to comply with a court order to turn over certain documents for her investigation.

Investigation inherited from previous district attorney

Pomerantz, who was semi-retired, was hired by the previous district attorney, Cyrus Vance, for his experience in complex financial investigations. Last summer, Vance announced charges against the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, alleging they were involved in a 15-year tax fraud scheme. The company and Weisselberg have pleaded not guilty.

Vance had authorized team attorneys to present evidence to the grand jury late last year but did not request an indictment. People close to Vance say he wanted to leave the decision up to Bragg. Others say the decision was an attempt to pressure Bragg to bring the case early in his term. The special grand jury is set to expire in April, though it could be extended, or a new grand jury could be formed to hear evidence.

Bragg would not say whether the lack of an inside collaborator is hampering the investigation.

“I’ve tried cases with cooperators and cases without cooperators. Complex cases can play out either way,” he said. “I look at the investigations in general and the evidence at trial specifically as a totality. What we’re doing now is investigating to get that totality and then at that point we can make decisions.”

Since late last year, at least three career prosecutors have asked to stay the investigation, which by the fall had focused on the accuracy of the Trump Organization’s financial statements, which were provided to lenders, insurers and others. They were concerned the investigation was moving too quickly, without clear evidence to support possible charges, people familiar with the investigation said.

Prosecutors encountered several obstacles in their investigation, mainly because they did not have a collaborator, a key informant, who could testify that Trump knew the financial statements contained false information. In addition to proving that Trump had criminal intent, some of the prosecutors also believed there were problems with the financial statements themselves, including warnings that they were not audited and did not necessarily follow US accounting standards.

Also, none of the lenders lost money on the loans they made to the Trump Organization, these people said. And many of them carried out their own review and risk assessment.

This story has been updated with additional comments from Bragg.

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