The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Cyrus Vance Jr. has convened a grand jury as his office investigates whether the Trump Organization violated New York state law, among other major points of examination.
Renato Mariotti tweeted Tuesday: “The mere fact that a special grand jury was empaneled does not mean that any particular person will be charged. It does not necessarily mean that Trump himself will be charged.”
“But it is fair to say that Vance’s investigation is far along and that charges are on the horizon.”
“This is the second sign in recent days that Vance’s investigation has entered the home stretch.”
Michael Cohen tweeted a photoshopped picture showing his former boss, Donald Trump, peerint out from behind bars after the New York Attorney General’s office announced it was investigating the Trump Organization “in a criminal capacity.”
“As more documents are reviewed by the #NYAG and #NYDA, it appears that the troubles for Donald #Trump will keep on coming! Soon enough, Donald and Associates will be held responsible for their actions,” Cohen tweeted on Tuesday night.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, and claims that the investigations are politically motivated. Both James and Vance are Democrats.
The Washington Post reported, citing a source close to the investigation, that the two prosecutors’ offices are to work together in some respects in their investigations into the Trump Organization. The New York AG’s statement did not mention Vance’s office.
Cohen was once a member of Trump’s inner circle, and a trusted confidante.
However the relationship soured in 2017 after Cohen came under investigation for hush-money payments he paid to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, and for lying to Congress over Trump’s business dealings in Russia.
In 2018, he started cooperating with prosecutors who were investigating his work with Trump, and testified to Congress in 2019. He also wrote a book about his experience working for Trump, calling the former president a racist, a conman, and a tax cheat.
Manhattan’s district attorney has subpoenaed financial records from Steve Bannon’s crowdfunding campaign to build a wall across the US-Mexican border, sources told CNN.
According to the report, subpoenas were issued to Wells Fargo, which held the money Bannon raised as part of the We Build the Wall fundraising drive, and GoFundMe, the online platform he used to raise donations.
A spokesman for Manhattan’s district attorney declined to comment.
The subpoenas were issued shortly after former President Donald Trump pardoned Bannon on federal conspiracy charges hours before he left the White House last month, according to CNN.
New Jersey’s attorney general has also launched a civil investigation into the We Build The Wall campaign, per CNN.
Insider has contacted Bannon’s attorney for comment.
Bannon was formerly among the most influential people in Trump’s orbit, serving as campaign manager during Trump’s successful run for the White House in 2016, and afterward appointed White House chief strategist.
Last week, it was reported that Vance’s office hired Mark Pomerantz, a prosecutor specializing in white-collar and organized crime.
Property owners in New York City can file applications with the NYC Tax Commission to correct the assessed value of their properties, according to the agency’s website.
Records held by the agency would likely include income and expense statements from the Trump Organization, which the company may have filed in an effort to lower its tax assessments, Reuters reported.
Vance’s office has reportedly sought documents related to the value of Trump Organization properties in New York from other sources, too. Last fall, Vance’s office issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank, according to The New York Times. That bank had served as the primary lender for Trump’s businesses for about two decades, reports said. Prosecutors last year reportedly interviewed bankers who had worked with Trump.
Reuters reported that investigators may be looking into whether the Trump Organization sought to increase the value of its properties when seeking loans, then tried to decrease the value when paying property taxes.
The Wall Street Journal last Saturday reported that Vance’s office was looking into loans taken out on the Trump Organization’s flagship properties in New York City.
Pomerantz has several decades of experience as a trial lawyer and litigator, having led the criminal division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York between 1997 and 1999.
During his time in the job he oversaw the prosecution of several organized-crime cases, including that of John A. Gotti, the son of the Gambino crime family boss John J. Gotti, on racketeering charges. According to The Times, Pomerantz was involved in the 1988 case which established the legal definition of racketeering, which has been used to prosecute organized-crime figures.
After his stint at the US attorney’s office, Pomerantz then moved into private practice.
According to his profile on the University of Pennsylvania’s website, where he serves on the advisory board for the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice, Pomerantz has “has handled major matters and internal investigations involving all aspects of alleged corporate misconduct, including securities and bank fraud, mail and wire fraud,” as well as organized-crime offenses, tax crimes and bribery.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is contemplating bringing a state court case against former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, The Washington Post reported.
The news comes weeks after former President Donald Trump issued a last-minute pardon for Bannon just hours before President Joe Biden was inaugurated. Federal prosecutors accused Bannon and three others of defrauding donors out of $25 million in fundraising campaign for the US-Mexico border wall via their We Build the Wall nonprofit.
Presidential pardons only apply to federal crimes, not state or local cases. Bannon was among more than 140 individuals who Trump granted clemency or commutations in his final 24 hours in office.
Investigators under District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. are in “early-stage discussions” in bringing state charges against Bannon for his involvement in the fundraising fraud, according to The Post report.
The former Trump strategist and three others were charged at the federal level with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering related to the border wall fundraising campaign. He was arrested in August of last year in Westbrook, Connecticut, and pleaded not guilty.
“While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle.”
Kolfage, along with We Build the Wall cofounders Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, did not receive a pardon from the former president.