When two high-ranking prosecutors leading a financial investigation into the Trump Organization abruptly quit last week, the reason seemed to be inaction on the case in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. Now, a response from the DA’s office to a public records request from The Daily Beast seems to confirm those suspicions.
The two prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, resigned after an unnecessary, month-long pause in the team’s interactions with a special grand jury, The New York Times reported last week. The duo had grown frustrated that the newly elected DA—Alvin Bragg Jr.—wouldn’t read memos about the case for weeks at a time and seemed to ditch plans to eventually indict former President Donald Trump himself, according to The Washington Post.
It turns out that, not only did Dunne and Pomerantz write resignation letters, they wrote so extensively about the slow-moving probe that the DA’s office would not turn over copies of their letters.
In response to a public records request under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, the DA’s office told The Daily Beast that the letters would reveal too much information.
“The criminal matter both individuals were assigned remains pending; as such, the public release of the letters which reflect internal deliberations and opinions about an on going investigation will likely interfere with that investigation,” the law enforcement agency responded on Friday. “Further, the documents reference matters attending a grand jury proceeding, which is exempt from disclosure.”
It also appears that Dunne and Pomerantz quit so abruptly that they didn’t even send goodbye emails to the high-profile team they led before they left. The office told The Daily Beast no such letters exist.
Pomerantz, who has extensive experience investigating corporate misconduct and financial fraud, was specifically brought into the Manhattan DA’s office a year ago to assist investigators as they pored over thousands of pages of evidence in the Trump case. He and his team analyzed to what extent the Trump Organization lied about property values to minimize taxes or maximize tax write-offs on major properties in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. It also explored untaxed fringe benefits to executives, like luxury apartments and cars that were allegedly gifted to employees in lieu of salary—reducing employer taxes for the company and income taxes for the executives.
The investigation into the Trump Organization has run more than three years and has only resulted in tax fraud indictments against the Trump family company and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg.
Dunne first started at the DA’s office in 1984, left for decades in private practice, and later returned to serve as the agency’s top legal adviser. It was Dunne who successfully argued before the Supreme Court that investigators should get copies of Trump’s taxes, overcoming years of delays from a president who fought to keep them secret.
Pomerantz also has a storied career. He is a cunning investigator who gained recognition in 1999 for successfully prosecuting John Gotti’s son, John A. Gotti, who followed in his father’s footsteps and eventually became the head of the Gambino crime family.
Pomerantz paused his white-collar defense practice at the private firm Paul Weiss to join the previous Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance Jr., as the office investigated alleged tax dodging and fraudulent property valuation at the Trump Organization. It was Pomerantz who often led interviews with witnesses and constantly probed how shady activity traced back to Trump himself.
Pomerantz would ask witnesses pointed questions about Weisselberg’s loyalties and motivations, according to two sources who were present during interviews and spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.
Quitting the office meant quitting the case. Neither attorney provided a comment for this story.
For months, legal scholars monitoring this case have openly questioned whether the case would suffer from the shakeup at the New York prosecutor’s office.
Manhattan has only known three district attorneys since 1975, and the change in leadership can be a significant disruptor.
Vance, a relative moderate who led the office from 2010 until last year, was replaced by Bragg, whose candidacy was buoyed by the nationwide wave of more liberal prosecutors. Bragg started his term by promising that his office wouldn’t prosecute low-level offenses like resisting arrest or hopping aboard public transportation without paying for it.
Danielle Filson, a spokeswoman at the DA’s office, issued a statement last week that sought to tamper any doubts.
“We are grateful for their service. The investigation is ongoing. We can’t comment further,” she wrote.
Those hoping the former president will be nailed for his long, documented history of dreaming up wildly inflated real estate valuations might have to turn to the parallel civil investigation being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Her office won a victory in court two weeks ago, when a state judge ordered Trump and his adult children, Don Jr. and Ivanka, to testify under oath about their roles in the Trump Organization.
Although that case is purely civil in nature—and would at most result in monetary fines for the company—any evidence gathered in that probe would be handed over to the Manhattan DA as ammunition for its criminal investigation.
And that other case isn’t going so well for Trump, who was caught saying too much and handing investigators yet more fuel to go after him.