Trump Prosecutors Resign After Grand Jury Case Stalls in Manhattan

The prosecutors, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz, submitted their resignations this week to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in the investigation into former President Donald J. Trump and his business practices. The resignations came after Bragg reportedly questioned the case against Trump. The challenge in such cases is that companies regularly manipulate the stated value of their assets for tax or loan purposes, particularly in the real estate area. [Update: Bragg denies dropping case and has appointed Susan Hoffinger to lead a squad of about 25 lawyers, paralegals and analysts, according to the Washington Post).

The two prosecutors were calling witnesses before the grand jury but suddenly stopped doing so.

It would be difficult for new prosecutors to simply pick up such a long investigation in the middle of a grand jury proceeding. The grand jury itself is scheduled to expire in a matter of weeks. The investigation began under Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

As common as overvaluing and undervaluing is in real estate, Trump’s organization has long been a standout in the practice. Indeed, his accounting firm recently notified the Trump Organization that it would no longer work with the company and instructed the company to notify anyone who had received the statements that they “should not be relied upon.”

Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer, admitted to such loose accounting practices. For example, on the value of  Trump’s penthouse in Trump Tower, Weisselberg acknowledged that the company had overvalued the apartment by “give or take” $200 million.

In the meantime, Weisselberg himself has been indicted. His counsel are moving for a dismissal of the case. The most interesting element in that case is that Weisselberg was previously given immunity to testify in the investigation of Trump’s fixer (and now foe) Michael Cohen. They are arguing that the prosecution is not only based on immunized information but that state prosecutors lack the authority to bring charges based on federal tax filings.

New York Attorney General Lelitia James is also investigating Trump but lacks the authority to bring criminal charges. She has filed court documents describing alleged misrepresentations on the value of Trump properties. James however has shown a strikingly different approach to other organizations accused of financial and taxation irregularities.

77 thoughts on “Trump Prosecutors Resign After Grand Jury Case Stalls in Manhattan”

  1. The dolts who carp against Trump on this comment board–no doubt–will cite their usual arcane and convoluted sources and evidence, but it’s just sheer political hatred driving this. All most Democrats need for probable cause is political animus. Nobody is safe from these Jacobins.

  2. Let’s face it. The last thing the dims want to see is Trump getting re-elected in 2024. I guess their plan of action is to destroy Trump so he can’t run in 2024. He seems to love being in the middle of a political food fight.

  3. Here we go again.

    All actual Americans want is freedom and free enterprise to “pursue happiness” and create wealth.

    The communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) usurp and abuse power to oppress and profit.

    Another heinous crime of high office and NO prosecution.

    Draw and Quarter.

    Guillotine.

    1. George – the correct order is hang until they pass out, then let them down, open the belly and using a windlass, draw out the intestines, then, since they are already dead, quarter them (style is open).

      1. PCS, to be sure, there were variations on the theme.

        Alas, I was not there; I will defer to the superior knowledge of a direct participant. 🙂

        More to the point, the punishment was apropos of the crime.

    2. George These prosecutors conclude that there are no heinous crimes there, but you,the great pseudo-savant one ascertains otherwise? So you will Just continue to parrot the hyperbole. Your coment seems ominous happenings should occur against these resigning prosecutors?

      1. Usurpation and abuse of power are insidious and subversive crimes of high office. Presumably, you would have the perpetrators continue. Hear, hear! Mike Nifong was jailed for contempt of court in his act to conduct malicious prosecutions, and he was sued into penury. Nifong may have tainted the reputation of a county DA’s office, while his equivalent in New York is attempting to change the course of the next presidential election, and, by extension, that of an entire nation and of history.

    3. George nothing will change so long as there is this concept of immunity….courtesy of the court. The king can do no wrong ….not in our constitution ….yet has infiltrated our republic. Currently need to enjoin local govt….and the roll and rule of law on my side….limiting factor…..I can’t likely win bc immunity. There is no rule of law….when to try to enforce it the first question is…..can you win? And the answer is no….bc of immunity. America is sad. Our rules of law gone. Equity injunctions are over for the basic fella. As the ultimate question isn’t are the powers to be breaking law….it’s if you can win…aka are they immune. To me this renders us little different from Russia. So I lay hope at Christ’s feet. And Putin is a Christian…and hope for gods will. Luke 11. Amen

  4. The question has been asked several times but I haven’t yet seen the answer: Which federal and/or state STATUTES have Trump’s companies violated related to ‘over-valuating’ and for which properties’ real value(s)? It’s very possible I’ve missed them. No links to ‘statements by prosecutors’, just the actual statutes (laws on the books) that have been broken and the properties connected to the violations. Could someone kindly (re)post them here, please?

      1. Search for the word ‘statute’. The word is there, yes, but only in the context as giving the NY AG the Executive means and broad powers to investigate and previous court decisions relating to bank fraud. Nothing in this link specifies the actual legislature-passed statutes Trump allegedly violated concerning valuation of property. Plenty of repetitive petitions filed, too, but none of those reference any specific statutes regarding valuations and how they were wrongly calculated by the accused. This document is little more than a throw-spaghetti-at-the-wall attempt to find ‘something’, ‘anything’ that will stick so a Grand Jury ‘might’ indict. Considering the prosecutors have now quit after all this time, it says quite clearly even they know there’s no ‘there’ there and/or there’s not enough evidence to justify prosecuting a trial on their own authority AND win it. And as others have said, valuations of property are not determined by the property owner. You’d think the state of NY and IRS would have had Trump by the shorthairs long ago, long before he ever ran for office, if he had acted in allegedly illegal ways in the past. Ask yourself how it’s prudent to spend millions of taxpayers dollars with the thinnest legal reasons to even start the process only to come up empty because you had nothing more than powerful peoples’ personal vendettas to settle as your source, inspiration, and supposed career-making goals. And not that you or any else asked, I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020. I have no dog in this hunt.

      2. You a**hole, that paper does not mention a single statute that anyone could violate. Read the table of authorities, and then control-f.

        The only statutes cited are ones authorizing the issuance of subpoenas and authorizing investigations by the AG.

      3. “And while OAG has not yet reached a final decision regarding whether this evidence merits legal action, the grounds for conducting the investigation are beyond reproach.” I think this statement in the body of the complaint says a lot…..the AG is really fishing. The Trump Organization has approximately 500 +/- business entities within it, does a reasonable person actually believe that he (Trump) is personally involved in all 500? My supposition is that the managers and financial people he has make all the day to day decisions and report to/consult with him on the major decision making stuff.
        Having been involved in property acquisitions and the attendant bank loan application process I know that banks do not just take the word of the applicant that a property is valued at ‘X’ dollar amount, they have their own evaluators. Insurance companies have their own people that place a valuation on a property. In regard to the complaint that Trump misrepresented the value of a conservation easement on two of the properties and therefore received an inequitable tax benefit, for the amount of money, 5mil, the IRS does not just accept the valuation at face value, they want a significant amount of appraiser reports.
        The way I imagine the business is structured if that each business entity is set up as a separate LLC (as a partnership) or Corporation with either the Trump Organization or Trump himself being principal partner/shareholder. If they are set up as separate LLCs each entity would file their own partnership tax return with the profit or loss flowing through to the partners. Therefore, it is conceivable that Trump receives up to 500 K-1s to report on his personal tax return. You can bet that the IRS audits this up the wahzoo. If there was a there there, Trump would have been in federal court a long time ago. I could go into more detail but you all are probably bored already.

    1. Yeah I’m not sure about this either. I called the FBI to report a shenanigans I knew about and they hung up on me. And it’s way worse than this allegation and is digging for re Trump. The deal was a realtor got a lusting. From a bank..held it out needing millions for the sale…had his org buy it..stated the value was 1/2…the bank wrote of the loss ? He screed buyers. But also financed it…then donates some at fum after pennies on purchase. Id like to know the law too….and why when they are all doing this …. they are so worried about Donald. If the FBI at al were honest they’d have to look at inscoe for the same valuation issues. But whose honest anymore?

  5. The reason Ukraine didn’t get accepted to join NATO, is that the other countries in Europe felt the Ukrainian government was extremely corrupt. A good place for Hunter Biden to do business.

  6. In the world of finance, including Wall Street investment banking and determinations of what is a suitable investment for a particular investor, the SEC, FINRA and all other Self-Regulatory Organizations (MSRB, CBOE, NYSE, etc.) have long-recognized that a major factor when viewing the fairness and reasonability of a transaction/a deal is whether both buyer and seller have investment sophistication, including having access to market professionals to render advice.

    I have seen no claim by the New York AG’s office, nor the Manhattan DA’s office under Cyrus Vance, Jr., that any parties to transactions involving the Trump Organization were unsophisticated, easily-duped, or capable of being hood-winked — absolutely no claim whatsoever.

    In the summer of 2015, perhaps one of Trump’s trusted advisors should have told him that the moment he would decide to throw his hat in the ring for the GOP presidential nomination, Pandorra’s Box would open—-and his life and livelihood would change, forever.

    And it has.

  7. So it’s turning out to be a gotcha case. If your a citizen of New York you should think of all the six figure salaries of the lawyers that have been waisted on a case pursued strictly for political purposes. Your hard earned tax dollars at work? Alvin Bragg is a Democrat prosecutor. Why would a Democrat prosecutor hint that the case has no merit? It appears that another wall that is closing in on Trump was built without the support of rebar and is quickly crumbling to the ground. It is indeed a sad day for those with Trump Derangement Syndrome on this platform and throughout the nation. There answer will be, “But what about this crumbling wall over here and what about that crumbling wall over their. Better that they should leave the conspiracy construction business all together for safety’s sake.

  8. “They [Weisselberg’s counsel] are arguing that the prosecution is not only based on immunized information but that state prosecutors lack the authority to bring charges based on federal tax filings.”

    Then the DOJ should take over.

    It should not be the case that George Floyd is arrested for allegedly using a fake $20 bill, but “overvaluing the apartment by “give or take” $200 million” gets a pass.

    1. “overvaluing the apartment by “give or take” $200 million” gets a pass.

      That $200 in meaningless without context. It only serves to inflame class envy. $200, $200 thousand, $200 million, all are small potatoes and a rounding error…without context.

      A $500 million home, valued at $700 million is not really worth much discussion. A lender would see the address, make a quick mental calculation, and allow the property to cover $300 million collateral.

  9. “Indeed, his accounting firm recently notified the Trump Organization that it would no longer work with the company and instructed the company to notify anyone who had received the statements that they “should not be relied upon.”

    Turley states, “Indeed, his accounting firm recently notified the Trump Organization that it would no longer work with the company and instructed the company to notify anyone who had received the statements that they “should not be relied upon.”

    What does that mean in today’s world? Absolutely nothing. Political PC clout has caused businesses around the country to do all sorts of things they wouldn’t do if based on business decisions. The accounting firm had no problem doing what it did for years. They didn’t suddenly recognize that THEY were misbehaving. THEY were doing their job and likely were quite happy doing it.

    Professor Turley, you should have left out the word “Indeed,” which emphasized something likely political rather than reality-based.

    1. Anonymous, it could just be that Trump lied to them. The accounting firm can be held liable because they often sign paperwork that attests “under penalty of perjury” that the statements they presented to the IRS are true AND correct. They can get in big trouble. If they have knowingly submitted such paperwork that was suspect they can be liable for huge fines or imprisonment. Rather than risk all of that it is better for them to cut ties completely and disassociate themselves from Trump.

      1. The accounting firm can be held liable because they often sign paperwork that attests “under penalty of perjury”

        Only for the work they do.

        Unless they do the bookkeeping also, they just take the numbers given them and use accepted accounting practices for the industry they are working in, and create Cash flow statements, P/L statements, balance sheets. A book, depending on detail requested could run 500 pages.
        They are not responsible for the documents they work from.

      2. The above comment is another ignorant comment by a worthless person. An opinion is not a lie. Unfortunately, Svelaz doesn’t know the difference between the two words. Tax forms differ from other forms. There are multiple different forms accounting firms fill out, and the completion methods can vary based on the form. Valuations are tricky as they can be based on a multiplicity of assumptions. Accounting firms will document how those assumptions were made or who made them and if verified. Banks and other larger institutions have their experts to evaluate value.

        If you wish to sound like you belong in long pants, provide an example of a lie that could have appeared in the accounting firm’s statements that the other party would not verify. Stop pretending you have anything of value to say.

        1. Anonymous (S. Meyer), I see projecting is still your strongest argument.

          ANY documentation used by an accounting firm that handles taxes must attest that ALL the documentation is true and correct. Since they are the ones handling Trump’s taxes and all financial accounting of the Trump organization it is STANDARD that such attesting by signed prior to filing with the IRS or any government agency it deals with.

          Valuations are only “tricky” when you’re purposely giving a higher value to borrow money and then lowering it to pay taxes. Both valuations cannot be true. There are statues against such valuation manipulation.

          1. The valuation of a property has nothing to do with an IRS form unless the property is sold, bought or transferred. You must file a very short form or have someone else do it for you. Get yourself a dictionary and an encyclopedia.

            1. Anonymous (S. Meyer)

              “ The valuation of a property has nothing to do with an IRS form unless the property is sold, bought or transferred. You must file a very short form or have someone else do it for you. Get yourself a dictionary and an encyclopedia.”

              It still has to be reported to the IRS.

              Valuations are important when it comes to property taxes. NY state has its own internal revenue agency. They too require accurate information. If you are deliberately undervaluing properties you can be criminally liable.

              1. “It still has to be reported to the IRS.”

                Svelaz, if it wasn’t sold, bought or transferred, why would property need to be listed on the IRS forms? Where would it be listed? You are making things up.

                State property taxes are different, but that was not under discussion. I have property in NYC. I can value it at $20 Million or $100. NYC doesn’t ask me my opinion of what it is worth. They determine the taxes, and if I disagree, I have to fight them.

                There is something wrong with you. Over and over again, you make statements that are proven false without learning from your mistakes. You have a learning disability. Can you use that to get a tax deduction?

          2. ANY documentation used by an accounting firm that handles taxes must attest that ALL the documentation is true and correct.

            You have never filed anything but a 1040EZ form, or you are lying.

            I have farm ground. Expenses against that property are deducted. Depending on the tax code, Full deduction, or filed on an attached depreciation schedule.

            The point being, I gave the tax lawyer what the expenses are. All invoices and checks are my responsibility. The lawyer wants no part of documentation, unless it is required by the IRS. That’s just the facts as they have been for more than 40 years of experience.

            Svelaz, every time you post, just build a more complete record of your ignorance.

      3. Svelaz
        Have you ever read an Audited Financial Statement?
        Do you know what GAAP stands for?
        Do you know what EBITDA stands for?
        Do you know why an auditor may include notes to a financial statement?
        Do you know what happened to Arthur Anderson do to spurious accusations by zealot prosecutors?

      4. Not just true or correct, but true AND correct. Lol.

        You can’t be guilty of perjury in the absence of mens rea. You have to know what you attested to is false.

  10. Right now the average price of a house in my neighborhood – because of stimulus fueled demand, migration, and the housing shortage, is approaching $500K This is nearly four times the price we paid 30 years ago and 1.7 times the appraised value. If, looking at long term economic trends for the next four years I believe it will sell for $ 700K (what my replacement cost will likely be) and use that as an asset valuation, is that fraud or just good hedge betting?

    The price of some corporate jets are being bid up by purchasers to nearly double their market value. If I value my corporate jet at twice its value, (likely replacement cost) is simply matching the current real free market or is that fraud?

    If I sell both at those numbers and the market tanks a year later back to long term market valuations is that then fraud if the seller and the buyer agreed at the time it was a fair market price?

    As one commenter pointed out, both parties have obligations. In the area of real estate, current market valuation data is readily available – its not like (it appears at this time), that Trump is attempting to swindle anyone. Lenders have experts who have access to that data and can readily tell if a property is fraudulently overvalued. No one is holding a gun to their head forcing them to lend to or back Trump.

    1. Yes, political volatility, market dynamics, personal assessments, and taxation priorities, reduce appraisals to opinions that are valid in a limited frame of reference (i.e. narrow scope). It’s not surprising that any criminal case built on unstable and shifting sands, with probable political motives, would be shutdown for the sake of avoiding irreconcilable, disparate rulings over a diverse and inclusive field.

    2. “ If, looking at long term economic trends for the next four years I believe it will sell for $ 700K (what my replacement cost will likely be) and use that as an asset valuation, is that fraud or just good hedge betting?”

      The valuation is based on the market, not the owner as trump does with his properties. Trump is valuing his properties as high as possible in order to get big loans, but at the same time he devalues them considerably to pay the lowest tax possible the same year. He’s lying to one of those two entities, the IRS or the banks. Fraud involves lying to financially benefit from the dishonest valuations.

      It’s like valuing your home for 500k to get a big equity loan, but then turn around and value it at 50k to pay the lowest possible property tax. The market doesn’t value properties like that.

      1. It’s like valuing your home for 500k to get a big equity loan, but then turn around and value it at 50k to pay the lowest possible property tax. The market doesn’t value properties like that.

        You don’t own property do you? You can’t, or you would know by experience, the property owner has no say in property tax valuations. Every piece of real estate has a proper tax evaluation. You can log onto any computer, go the appropriate county assessors web site, enter an address, and see the property tax valuation, and the calculations used to arrive at the number.

        As to loans, lending institutions that loan money, have loan officers very skilled and know the value of the assets used for collateral. In NYC, give an address and square footage of an appartment and they know within 10% off the top of their head. Obviously he would create the supporting documents if a loan would be approved because regulators audit those large loans annually.

        Real estate, because it is the basis of government funding, is the most publicly transparent transaction I can think of.

        That was the tell, informing me the whole process Grand Jury legal proceeding was a scam

        The property tax side of valuation is a government function.
        The loan side of the equation, is audited by Government regulatory agencies, annually.

      2. “The valuation is based on the market, not the owner as trump does ”

        How stupid can one person be? The buyer and seller determine the market value at that moment which occurs after the agreement is made. Trump determines what he is willing to buy or sell a property for. The other person does the same. Outside evaluators take an educated guess.

        “It’s like valuing your home for 500k to get a big equity loan”

        The stupidity is non-ending. Banks will use comparative prices, property appraisals by taxing authorities, square-foot replacement costs, etc. If you think they rely on your evaluation, you confirm your stupidity.

      3. A lender is going to have an independent appraisal done. A taxing authority has an assessor’s office tasked with doing an appraisal. How are either one harmed by Trump’s numbers?

      4. Since when does the homeowner decide what his property is worth relative to his property tax. That is decided by the city/county in which you live. If the banks loaned President Trump money, just as in any loan, they would look at the valuation and approve a loan based on that information. This practice of overvaluing is particularly common in Real Estate for which the developers get the most tax breaks of a any other business.

        1. judah425 – my county allows you to challenge the valuation of your property. I have done it successfully once.

      5. The owner doesn’t get to set the value for property tax. And, I believe, commercial properties are subject to depreciation, so the market value and book value are defined differently. And income tax relating to a sale doesn’t involve valuations at all. It involves sales price, purchase price, and adjustment to the seller’s basis. Depreciation affects income tax of an operating commercial property, but the depreciation is taken from the purchase price, not a subjective valuation.

  11. This case has always been just as the Prof’s post describes. Valuation of Real estate. Some addresses are at the top of the most expensive real estate in the US.

    But why is the govt involved? That is the analysis I was looking for from the Prof, though it is not an area of his scholarship.

    All of these valutions have to do with business contracts between consenting entities. A 100% difference of valuation is not a crime. My daughters family is drafting an offer for a house that will be about 40% less than listing price. Did the sellers commit fraud?

    That is the NY government case against Trump

    1. Correct, the dems have been counseled to believe that the justice departments at all levels can be used as political tools. This strategy has been enhanced by the purposeful placement of ideologues in positions of authority within our various departments of justice from town councils to the DOJ and the Supreme Court.

      1. Alma Carman writes at 10:13 that “…the dems have been counseled to believe…” Let me correct that for you: “…the dems have been INDOCTRINATED IN OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO BELIEVE…” Sorry for the caps but I can’t get underline or italics to work.

    2. I doubt you’ve read the NY AG’s documents. You whined for weeks that you hadn’t heard what laws were ostensibly broken, when there was a memo about it on the AG’s website. Some of the parties are local governments. The government is involved whether you can admit it or not.

      1. I doubt you’ve read the NY AG’s documents

        I followed your link, responded then. I have responded yesterday and today, explaining why the prosecutor has no case. All those valuations undergo Government Audits of all loans, looking a collateral valuations. Those goverment Regulatory (exmp. FDIC) audits, PROTECT depositors from over aggressive asset valuation, putting depositors at risk.

        1. If you read it, then you look extra stupid for asking “why is the govt involved?,” given that the AG explained why the government is involved.

          1. Take note how you are unable to say in your own words why the government is involved. The only way you can accomplish that task is to quote pages of quotes. As long as no one bothers to read those quotes you assume you provided the answer. You presume wrong. You don’t know the answer.

      2. This guy is always accusing others of not reading documents. He doesn’t understand the meaning of the documents or the links he provides. That is why he quotes and links so much.

        Try using your own words. If you can’t it means you recognize that your words can be torn apart.

  12. Bragg’s priorities do not appear to match those of the D hierarchy. Curious as to when the Gov will replace him with Sam Watterson

  13. Companies often operate close to the legal edge (as defined by lawyers, accountants, and “experts”).

    When prosecutors choose to move that edge in response to political pressures, a desire for publicity, or a quid pro quo, then political risk rises in the country.

    To say nothing of the moral cost.

    This political witch hunt of Trump is immoral and carries a lot of (as yet unseen) costs.

    Do we really want a country where the political operatives enforce the law?

  14. The replacement DA probably had a little more critical analysis, and less insane TDS fever, gradually realizing that he was handed a rotting apple of a case that he was supposed to turn into shining icon of clean proof against Trump.
    Sure they probably had some spongy evidence for their case, but no smoking gun, and a comparative industry practices & policy defense.
    It would appear that yet another launched crusade against the Trump kingdom has floundered in the moats.

  15. What Trump is being accused of goes on every day throughout the entire United States.

    When Property Appraisers are told what the Sales Contract Price is BEFORE their doing the Appraisal….the Fix is in.

    If an Appraiser did an “honest” job….without knowing the Contract Price…far too many “Deals” would encounter problems….and that is not what the Real Estate Industry is going to tolerate.

    Under the current system….Appraisers KNOW that if they get a reputation of being a “Deal Killer”….they shall soon go out of business for lack of business.

    So…is the AG going after others for what she is going after Trump for doing?

    There is a thing called “Due Diligence” a Buyer and Bank making Loans is responsible for doing to safeguard their own interests….so let the Buyer Beware and end this persecution of Trump by Democrats in power.

    1. When you see the word Democrat substitute socialist as the second is more honestly fitting the situation. Besides the two are polar opposites One demands every participant votes or contributes to every thing or question while the otheer has a ruling circle or ruling class that dictates the out come brooking no other opinions. Short version They aren’t Democratic. Besides the party’s true name is Progressive Liberals they only took over the Democrats and one more aside they are not and never have been Progressive but Regressive. Rule by citizens is unheard of rule by autocrats is their standard.

      1. Progress is an unqualified, monotonic process. That is to say, that different people… persons will judge its quality by different (e.g. diversity, inequity, and exclusion), even diametrically divergent (e.g. wicked solution) criteria.

      2. I loved your pun. “Brooking”. That Institute and it’s Lawfare Branch are The tip of the spear.

  16. I guess the regular trolls who infect the blog will need something else to spew as their hate list dwindles?

      1. Gary Trieste – I would posit that the victims of TDS are not so much clueless, as uncaring. 😉

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