Inside the Donald Trump probe sheds light on DA Manhattan
Over the past few weeks, the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into former President Donald Trump appears to have unraveled, with two leading prosecutors on the case resigning over a lack of charges and the DA feeling betrayed. attacked for the lack of movement he gave. a statement on Thursday said that an indictment against Trump maybe still coming.
DA Alvin Bragg Jr told CNN on Thursday: “The investigations are not linear.
But inside the DA’s office, inertia and frustration over Trump’s ability to evade guilt are worse than ever.
However, another prosecutor appears to have been withdrawn from the case, according to knowledgeable sources, who said it could be further evidence of the failure of the investigation. And sources now seem to suggest that Trump dodging an indictment is inevitable.
Solomon Shinerock – a lead investigator who helped drive much of the four-year effort – is no longer actively involved in the case, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.
In recent weeks, Shinerock’s withdrawal from the Trump team has been clear enough to disappoint some on the prosecutor’s side — and notable enough to please the attorneys working on the matter. goals of the former president and the Trump Organization, the sources noted.
Another person familiar with the situation described the current state of the group, which is investigating Trump, as “gutted” and “covered” of their own before, even going beyond what has been reported. before. The loss of momentum in this high-profile investigation – which some of its former prosecutors believe produced enough evidence to convict Trump – has frustrated some of the lawyers working on the investigation. and in some cases angry.
Among those disappointed was Shinerock, according to a source familiar with the matter and another individual briefed on the situation. Predictably, Shinerock has limited public comment on the current state of the criminal investigation, or his comments on the seemingly stalled investigation into Trump and the business empire. his business.
Shinerock is still employed at the DA’s office, but his connection to the special prosecutor’s team is now fragile. The office declined to comment on allegations that he stepped back from a major role in the case. Similarly, Shinerock declined to comment for this story.
For days, The Daily Beast has been urging spokespersons for the DA Manhattan office to comment, sharing with them the specifics of this report. A spokesperson for the office has repeatedly declined opportunities to continue filing to deny or challenge any details.
But Thursday afternoon, hours after being notified of the Beast’s deadline, the office released its written statement, led by Bragg, to multiple national media outlets, emphasizing that “the team Work on this investigation includes [sic] dedicated, experienced prosecutors in the profession “who are still” investigating thoroughly and following the facts without fear or favor. “
The Daily Beast did not receive this statement and the DA office has continued to decline the opportunity to continue filing to explain how their statements are valid with this report showing the role of a principal investigator. to how significantly the other in the case was limited.
Shinerock may still be part of the prosecution in some official capacity, and his name may still appear on some documents related to the Trump investigation. But the sources are clear: Shinerock’s role has been greatly diminished.
A source told The Daily Beast that he last heard from Shinerock six weeks ago.
Another source said Shinerock has been less involved in day-to-day communications since two other senior prosecutors recently quit.
Indeed, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz abruptly left last month, citing their displeasure with Bragg’s refusal to sign Trump’s indictment on charges of forging business records, among other allegations. .
Dunne, a former prosecutor who has defended himself against Wall Street bankers, is the office’s general counsel and has successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that his investigators should take the Trump’s personal tax documents. Pomerantz, also a former prosecutor, left his white-collar crime defense at the high-profile law firm Paul Weiss to help fuel the massive operation of the local prosecutor’s office.
Shinerock is the third leg of the stool. Multiple witnesses have described him as a key figure in the investigation, raising razor-sharp questions focusing on the inner workings of the Trump Organization and any involvement in the crime. of the people running the organization. Shinerock was prominently present during three office visits to the federal prison in Otisville, New York, where prosecutors interviewed former Trump attorney Michael Cohen during his time there, the former said. prisoner.
Shinerock was also the lead name in the July 2021 indictment against the Trump Organization and its then-CFO, Allen Weisselberg. That case will go to trial later this year.
Shinerock, who turns 42 next month, begins studying war crimes at American University’s law school. After graduation, he defended banks at New York’s oldest law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, where he also provided free legal work to a group that successfully secured asylum for people immigration. He spent two years as a federal prosecutor in upstate New York, then left at the beginning of the Trump administration.
He joined the Manhattan DA’s office under the former district attorney, Cy Vance Jr., where he worked in the major economic crime bureau.
As an assistant district attorney, Shinerock played a key role in the Manhattan DA’s fight for Trump’s tax returns, a legal battle that has reached the Supreme Court twice.
For years, his signed statement in federal court has provided the public with the most detailed look at the bureau’s investigation, which began as an investigation into cash payments. Trump’s secret to 1998 Playboy friend Karen McDougal and porn star Stephanie Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels.
To some, it might be expected that the prosecution’s effort against the former president appears to be faltering.
“The Manhattan DA office continues to lock up… the poor, the colored, the blacks and the browns, those with substance abuse problems, this is an absolute model — while it cannot be taken into account. the rich and powerful,” said Eliza Orlins, a publicity defender who ran for the Manhattan DA last year. “Rikers Island is in a state of absolute crisis; my clients are there every day…[But] the way the office has always been run, Donald Trump’s chances are probably always good. The real scandal is that this is purely business-as-usual behavior of that office. “
When Vance announced a year ago that he would not be running for re-election, journalists were quick to point out the potential turmoil that could stem from the leadership change amid the potential prosecution. This is the biggest effort for this New York County office. Those concerns appeared to be heightened when Bragg, a former federal prosecutor and public defender, assumed the DA role in January.
Bragg was immediately put on the defensive when his “Day 1 Memo” received numerous criticisms for being “soft on crime”. At the time, Representative Tom Suozzi – who is currently running for governor of New York – and others called on Governor Kathy Hochul to replace Bragg for allegedly neglecting his duties. Those calls have only grown louder since last month’s news that the Trump investigation was going sideways because of Bragg’s reluctance to file charges.
Still, the office insisted that “the investigation continues,” adding the reassuring affirmation that “an experienced team of prosecutors is working every day to follow the facts and the law.” .
This is their claim, even as Manhattan prosecutors recently returned key evidence and documents that witnesses provided in the case, as The Daily Beast reported last month.
Bragg even appointed the office’s head of investigations, Susan Hoffinger, to run the Trump matter. But that means a top executive at law enforcement now has two full-time jobs — with little spare time to point out Trump. The grand jury convened by the DA’s office for this investigation – which is familiar with all the evidence and will vote on the indictment if questioned – is operating under a deadline that will expire. due this month, according to several attorneys familiar with the investigation.
A disgraceful end to this investigation would come as no surprise to Nicholas Gravante, a defense attorney at the very firm where Shinerock was an associate. Gravante represented two other Trump Organization executives who came under the microscope, chief executive Matthew Calamari Sr. and his son, security chief Matt Jr.
For months, Gravante insisted that his client had not committed any wrongdoing — and prosecutors would have a hard time finding that elsewhere.
“We heard nothing; we did nothing. And as I’ve said all along, there’s no evidence that either of them ever acted improperly. They are model citizens,” said Gravante, co-head of global litigation at Cadwalader.
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