Patterico's Pontifications

2/19/2021

Manhattan D.A. Hires Top Federal Fraud Ex-Prosecutor to Work on Trump Investigation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



If I were Donald J. Trump, former social media influencer, I’d be getting nervous about now:

As the Manhattan district attorney’s office steps up the criminal investigation of Donald J. Trump, it has reached outside its ranks to enlist a prominent former federal prosecutor to help scrutinize financial dealings at the former president’s company, according to several people with knowledge of the matter.

The former prosecutor, Mark F. Pomerantz, has deep experience investigating and defending white-collar and organized crime cases, bolstering the team under District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. that is examining Mr. Trump and his family business, the Trump Organization.

The fellow has a pretty impressive pedigree:

Mr. Pomerantz, a leading figure in the New York legal circles, clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld in Manhattan and Justice Potter Stewart on the Supreme Court. He then became a federal prosecutor in the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan, where he rose to lead the appellate unit before leaving in 1982.

In private practice, he developed a specialty in organized crime and was involved in a 1988 case that helped determine the legal definition of racketeering. His former law partner, Ronald P. Fischetti, estimated they tried nearly 25 cases that involved organized crime in some form or another.

Mr. Pomerantz returned to the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office to head the criminal division between 1997 and 1999, overseeing major securities fraud and organized crime cases, perhaps most prominently against John A. Gotti, the Gambino boss.

Experience in prosecuting mob bosses is a real plus if you are weighing a potential prosecution of Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has been sitting on challenges to Vance’s subpoena of Trump’s tax returns, and it’s starting to raise eyebrows:

For nearly four months, the court has refused to act on emergency filings related to a Manhattan grand jury’s subpoena of Trump tax returns, effectively thwarting part of the investigation.

The Supreme Court’s inaction marks an extraordinary departure from its usual practice of timely responses when the justices are asked to block a lower court decision on an emergency basis and has spurred questions about what is happening behind the scenes.

Ken White and Josh Barro have a great podcast called All the Presidents’ Lawyers, about the legal troubles of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (Let’s be honest: it’s mostly about Trump’s legal troubles. He has more of them. After Biden took office, they moved the single quotation mark after the “s” but the content has remained mostly the same.) I think they are likely to have great content for months to come.

Exit question, as Allahpundit likes to say: why hasn’t Dominion Voting Systems sued Donald Trump (yet)?

33 Responses to “Manhattan D.A. Hires Top Federal Fraud Ex-Prosecutor to Work on Trump Investigation”

  1. Patterico, This is definitely interesting. What I don’t know is how much weight to give it. People move jobs all the time. I know there’s a hard line rule about referencing your day job. But in your experience as a legal professional how significant does this appear?

    Time123 (ae9d89)

  2. Exit question, as Allahpundit likes to say: why hasn’t Dominion Voting Systems sued Donald Trump (yet)?

    To hear the Trumpists tell it, it’s because Dominion doesn’t want to undergo discovery and have their vote-changing scheme uncovered, or go to trial and have all of these alleged vote tabulations that are supposedly mathematically impossible come to light.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  3. I’m hoping for a DC indictment of Trump, Don Jr and others on criminal charges, based on what happened Jan 6th.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  4. I’m *expecting* a Fulton County indictment based on the Raffensberger call.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  5. Exit question, as Allahpundit likes to say: why hasn’t Dominion Voting Systems sued Donald Trump (yet)?

    If we learned anything during America’s four-year brush with Greatness, Donald Trump is not a “detail guy”.

    Although I (obviously) didn’t follow his Twitter feed, my impression is that he rarely if ever went into enough specificity to name individual companies.

    Instead, he claimed that there was massive fraud, by everybody, everywhere, in the states he and his cabal of fascists targeted for disenfranchisement and coup.

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. The law they said might be violated (basically lying)doesn’t sound like it applies. Not that he wasn’t lying to Raffensperger. But it wasn’t I think for the purposes imagined in the law.

    Sammy Finkelman (1e81da)

  7. Exit question, as Allahpundit likes to say: why hasn’t Dominion Voting Systems sued Donald Trump (yet)?

    Because they want to get judgements against softer targets first?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. Exit question, as Allahpundit likes to say: why hasn’t Dominion Voting Systems sued Donald Trump (yet)?

    For defamation to cause damage the defamer has to be credible.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. My impression of Cyrus Vance is that he’s a low-hanging fruit scavenger. (I could be wrong.) I’d rather Merrick Garland’s DOJ was on the job. (They might be.)

    nk (1d9030)

  10. For defamation to cause damage the defamer has to be credible.

    Nice try, counselor, but 40% of the population treat Respondent’s words as unquestioned truth…

    Dave (1bb933)

  11. AG Garland could have a whole slew of cases, starting with Cohen, the obstruction from the Mueller report, his crimes involving Ukraine, and sedition.
    And then there’s Dominion, the defamation suits by the women he insulted/mistreated, the suit against the Trump Organization, insurrection-related charges that could be filed by the DC AG, and his crimes against Raffensperger.
    There could be a long list of suits, and I hope it happens. He’s not above the law.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  12. Nice try, counselor, but 40% of the population treat Respondent’s words as unquestioned truth…

    Dave (1bb933) — 2/19/2021 @ 12:39 pm

    I doubt that statistic would hold up in court, but I’m sure they have more reliable facts to use.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  13. The walls are closing in.

    But I’m sure even if this prosecutor doesn’t nail Trump, the next one will. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. But not the one after that because the Supreme Court will rule that you can’t prosecute a guy 12 years after he’s been dead.

    Jerryskids (999ce8)

  14. New York City tax agency subpoenaed in Trump criminal probe
    ………
    The subpoena issued to the New York City Tax Commission is the latest indication that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. is looking at the values Trump assigned to some commercial properties in tax filings and loan documents.

    Along with information already subpoenaed from creditors, the tax agency documents would help investigators determine whether Trump’s business inflated the value of his properties to secure favorable terms on loans while deflating those values to lower tax bills for those same properties.
    ………

    The subpoena likely would compel the agency to provide detailed income and expense statements the Trump Organization would have filed as part of an effort to lower tax assessments on some of its commercial properties, according to people familiar with the commission’s operations. Trump’s holdings include Trump Tower and Trump Plaza.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (259fcd)

  15. The Congress of the United States of America tried to nail him.

    And failed.

    Twice.

    The only guys w/t best chance of getting him are– Colonel Sanders and Ronald McDonald.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  16. The only guys w/t best chance of getting him are– Colonel Sanders and Ronald McDonald.

    Ernst Stavros Putin does not tolerate failure.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. Patterico, This is definitely interesting. What I don’t know is how much weight to give it. People move jobs all the time. I know there’s a hard line rule about referencing your day job. But in your experience as a legal professional how significant does this appear?

    I don’t know that I have enough relevant experience to have an opinion beyond what the average observer would conclude.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  18. Winters saw a procession of men who looked like walking balloons. “They’ve busted out of their clothes,” said Winters.
    Gunstock nodded. “You have heard of men who were full of themselves, haven’t you?”
    “Certainly have,” said Winters.
    “There is a feeling, more or less universal I’d say, with respect to such men. You’ll see that wish expressing itself presently.”
    Suddenly, far out on Alkali Flat, there was a loud explosion.
    “What was that?” asked Winters.
    “One of those fellows,” said Gunstock, indicating a line of walking balloons. “One has just blown up.”
    There was another terrific detonation. Gunstock looked at Winters and nodded.
    Winters understood. “But look at that one!”
    A balloon had commenced to dance and bounce. “He’s so full of himself by now,” said Gunstock, “he’s bound to blow.”
    Winters watched him. His discomfort was so intense that Winters could feel it himself. An explosion occurred then that made stars and mountains quiver. Nothing remained of him; not one small fragment. Winters was amazed. “What became of him, Gunnie?”
    “He just blew up,” said Gunstock. “There was no substance to him anyhow. Not really.”

    — Lon Williams, Mark Of The Wampus Cat (1954)

    nk (1d9030)

  19. The Congress of the United States of America tried to nail him.

    And failed.

    Twice.

    Criminal cases have at least a chance of being judged by a jury free of political hacks.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  20. I’m curious about how a lawsuit by Dominion would work.
    Couldn’t Trumps attorneys say that all he did was flesh out and add recent context to charges that have been made from many years before by others?

    steveg (43b7a5)

  21. #2
    It was Giuliani that said he was looking forward to discovery, which given his recent record should yield zero. That’s not to say there is/isn’t anything to discover.
    Maybe he and Powell can get together and release the Kraken 2.0… which from past results seemed to have involved chugging Capt. Morgan into the wee hours and laughing at the people who were sending them checks

    steveg (43b7a5)

  22. #19

    Even if the final decision on impeachment was a foregone conclusion, it had to hurt to get beat by a personal injury lawyer from so far down the end of the bench he might as well have been sitting in American Samoa.

    steveg (43b7a5)

  23. I’m curious about how a lawsuit by Dominion would work.
    Couldn’t Trumps attorneys say that all he did was flesh out and add recent context to charges that have been made from many years before by others?

    He could say that, but it would not amount to a defense.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  24. he might as well have been sitting in American Samoa.
    steveg (43b7a5) — 2/21/2021 @ 10:57 am

    “Go land crabs!”

    felipe (484255)

  25. @19. Thing is, P, in the tri-state region through the 80s, plenty of big league player$ went to bat against Trump at ‘Legal Field’ and couldn’t manage to bench him. And limelight comtitors like Helmsley, Boesky, Milken… even Gotti lost their games, too. Yet Trump triumphed w/fellow Yankees fanboy Giuliani at his side. ‘Too big to fail’ makes for a heck of a spit ball. Pinstripes beat prison strips; 74-plus million voters aside, social and political exile is a possible path– a la The Big Dick- but America will never send an ex-POTUS to the pokie. Bad look overseas.

    At his age and with his diet, bet on Colonel Sanders or Ronald McDonald finally tagging him out.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  26. ^comtitors = competitors

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  27. Given the ease with which he received Remedesivir (sp?), plasma and who knows what else, it’s just as likely the Colonel and the Clown of Cholesterol walk away with tails between legs…bet on the successful octuple or nantuple bypass.

    urbanleftbehind (80349b)

  28. Cyrus Vance Jr. is almost certainly not running for re-election. Candidates in the Democratic primary – and there so far no Republican running – at candidates’ forums avoid committing themselves to prosecution but mostly for “ethical” reasons. The primary will NOT be conducted using ranked choice voting but will be first past the post.

    District Attorney is not an office created by the City Charter. DA’s get elected for four years, but terms do not start or end on fixed years. So it can switch to and from any year mod 4.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  29. urbanleftbehind (80349b) — 2/21/2021 @ 1:23 pm

    Given the ease with which he received Remedesivir (sp?), plasma and who knows what else,

    The key thing that Donald Trump ot was Regeneron antibodies, not remdisivir, which I don’t think he got. I don’t think he got plasma either. He also got zinc and Vitamin D. Also pepcid.

    And later, a steroid, to guard against a hyperactive immune system, which wasn’t at all probable for causing his swift recovery.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-trump-treatmen/trump-treated-with-experimental-antibody-cocktail-for-covid-19-idUSKBN26N3CL

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  30. Exit question, as Allahpundit likes to say: why hasn’t Dominion Voting Systems sued Donald Trump (yet)?

    Donald Trump learned long ago never to originate defamatory libels, but to always rely on sources.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  31. steveg @20:

    I’m curious about how a lawsuit by Dominion would work.

    Couldn’t Trumps attorneys say that all he did was flesh out and add recent context to charges that have been made from many years before by others?

    Patterico (115b1f) — 2/21/2021 @ 11:06 am

    He could say that, but it would not amount to a defense.

    It’s a defense because the election is a mater of general public interest, and he could show the fact he was relying on other people means it was done without malice – malice meaning while knowing it was false or with reckless disregard for the truth. If the allegation was mentioned in a lawsuit filing, it’s even more of a defense.

    And what kind of things did Trump say?

    In a private call:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/03/us/politics/trump-raffensperger-georgia-call-transcript.html

    … They’re changing the equipment on the, on the Dominion machines. And, you know, that’s not legal…. we have a big issue with Dominion and other states and perhaps in yours. But we have, we haven’t felt we needed to go there, and just to, you know, maybe put a little different spin on what Mark is saying. Mark Meadows. Yeah, I would like to go further, but we don’t really need to. We have all the votes we need. You know, we won the state…
    …We have not gone through your Dominion, so we can’t give them blessing. I mean, in other states we think we found tremendous corruption with Dominion machines, but we’ll have to see. But, but we, we only lost the state by 11 thous — by, by that number, 11,000 votes and 779. So with that being said, with just what we have…..All we have to do is find 11,000-plus votes. So we don’t need that. I’m not looking to shake up the whole world, we won Georgia easily. We won it by hundreds of thousands of votes, but if you go by basic, simple numbers, we won it easily, easily. So, we’re not giving Dominion a pass, on the record. We just don’t — you know we don’t need Dominion because we have so many other votes, that we don’t need to prove it any more than we already have….

    ….I won’t give Dominion a pass because we’ve found too many bad things. But we don’t need Dominion or anything else.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  32. Also this exchange, which goes to Trump’s knowledge of the probable falsity of claims against Dominion:

    That Dominion is really moving fast to get rid of their, uh, machinery.

    Do you know anything about that? Because that’s illegal, right?

    GERMANY: This is Ryan Germany. No, Dominion has not moved any machinery out of Fulton County.

    TRUMP: But have they moved the inner parts of the machines and replaced them with other parts?

    GERMANY: No.

    TRUMP: Are you sure, Ryan?

    GERMANY: I’m sure. I’m sure, Mr. President.

    TRUMP: What about, what about the, what about the ballots. The shredding of the ballots. Have they been shredding ballots?

    GERMANY: The only investigation that we have into that — they have not been shredding any ballots. There was an issue in Cobb County where they were doing normal office shredding, getting rid of old stuff, and we investigated that. But this stuff from, you know, from, you know, past elections.

    TRUMP: It doesn’t pass the smell test, because we hear they’re shredding thousands and thousands of ballots, and now what they’re saying, ‘Oh, we’re just cleaning up the office.’ Yeah.

    RAFFENSPERGER: Mr. President, the problem you have with social media, they — people can say anything.

    In Trumps speech on January 6, 2021:

    https://factba.se/transcript/donald-trump-speech-campaign-rally-the-ellipse-january-6-2021

    …a lot, and within a number of hours, we were losing by a little. In addition, there is the highly troubling matter of Dominion Voting Systems. In one Michigan county alone, 6,000 votes were switched from Trump to Biden, and the same systems are used in the majority of states in our country….Senator William Ligon, a great gentleman, chairman of Georgia’s senate judiciary subcommittee. Senator Ligon highly respected, on elections, has written a letter describing his concerns with Dominion in Georgia. He wrote and I quote, “The Dominion Voting Machines employed in Fulton County had an astronomical and astounding 93.67% error rate.” It’s only wrong 93% of the time in the scanning of ballots requiring a review panel to adjudicate or determine the voter’s interest in over 106,000 ballots out of a total of 130,000. Think of it…

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

  33. This is Ligon’s report: (his personal work, ot approved by the committee)

    http://www.senatorligon.com/THE_FINAL%20REPORT.PDF

    I can;t find anything here about a 93% error rate or what that really was, but I’m sure Trump had a source.

    Sammy Finkelman (c95a5a)

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