The FBI has for months been investigating Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and his staff over their handling of high-profile cases that were dropped once lawyers made donations to Vance’s election campaign. In 2015, Vance’s office declined to prosecute Harvey Weinstein over model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez’s claim that he groped her—and around that time, the News notes, Weinstein’s lawyer donated $24,000 to Vance. After Vance declined to arrest Weinstein, he received $10,000 from a second lawyer. In 2012, when Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. were facing claims of defrauding investors, Vance met with the Trumps’ attorney, who had previously donated $25,000. The lawyer donated an additional $32,000 when Vance opted not to prosecute.
Vance’s spokesman told the News that he was unaware of any FBI investigation. But Vance has already worked to overhaul his donation practices: When facing public scrutiny for campaign donations in 2017, Vance returned both Trump payments and commissioned Columbia Law School to evaluate the legality of his campaign practices. He chose to adopt many of their recommendations, including a rule that he would not take more than $320 from lawyers with cases in the Manhattan court system.