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It ain't over, until it's over
Mr. Bragg speaks
And so it goes, but then, this is good news for the rule of law.
Then again, it could very well be damage control for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. The man was duly savaged across social media, a mere month ago, after the resignations of his two senior prosecutors, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz.
According to Dunne and Pomerantz, Bragg had expressed reluctance to continue with the criminal investigation of former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization for a series of financial shenanigans. Those charges include providing false and/or misleading information to insurers, lenders, and others, regarding Trump properties. Dunne and Pomerantz resigned in protest, after a months long investigation and internal discussion with DA Bragg, in which Bragg appeared to have cold feet, stating that he doubted the strength of the evidence to convict anyone within the Trump sphere.
Fast forward to today, a new light, and a district attorney who may see his wishy-washy attitude towards the former Grifter-in-Chief as the proverbial albatross around his neck, come reelection time. After all, the blowback wasn’t simply seen across social media. Disgruntled New Yorkers also took the time to protest outside of the DA’s office.
Maybe Dunne and Pomerantz were too hasty. Who’s to say?
What we can say is that the window for prosecution on the charges is finite, and growing smaller, by the day. In fact, the approximate date for that window to close, as far as getting the case before a grand jury could happen sometime in the month of April, so we’re talking days, not months.
In a new statement, Bragg has finally spoken, and according to him, the investigation was never actually halted. He has framed his seeming inaction as taking utmost care to be thorough.
“They are going through documents, interviewing witnesses, and exploring evidence not previously explored,” Bragg said. “In the long and proud tradition of white-collar prosecutions at the Manhattan D.A.’s Office, we are investigating thoroughly and following the facts without fear or favor.”
Bragg, in a phone interview, declined to elaborate on the nature of the evidence that had not been inspected or whether it appears likely to lead to an indictment against Trump, who has repeatedly said he and his business broke no laws in valuing their properties or taking tax deductions.
“My determination was that the investigation needed to be ongoing, and that continues to be my determination,” Bragg said in the interview.
That’s great to hear, but it begs the question: How much cooperation or communication did Bragg have with his predecessor, Cy Vance? Vance left office, concluding that there was enough evidence in the case to prosecute the former president and his brood, but he declined to pull that trigger, leaving it in the lap of incoming DA Bragg.
Bragg has gone on to state that there is no concern about tight timelines for prosecution. He’s got it all under control.
“As anyone who has worked on criminal cases in New York knows, New York County has grand juries sitting all the time,” Bragg’s statement said. “There is no magic at all to any previously reported dates.”
He’s not saying what new evidence he has, or how long he expects the investigation to take, but he did make some mention of past investigations and tossed out the word, “years.”
That will not sit well with those who feel there is already a strong case for conviction. Riding out the clock is not the kind of law-and-order many feel comfortable with, especially given how blatant Trump is in continuing as if he is still president, still stirring unrest, still grifting across the country from his glassy-eyed devotees.
For now, watchers of the case will have to continue the waiting game. Confidence in Bragg to do the right thing wanes, and any shot of justice may rely on New York Attorney General Letitia James, who has pressed on in her investigation, keeping her moves largely in the open.
Her latest push is to initiate contempt charges against Trump for a failure to produce documents, as ordered, by a March 31 deadline, as part of her office’s investigation into his company’s financial dealings. She’s further asking he be fined $10,000 a day, until his company coughs up the documents that were requested.
AG James and DA Bragg are two different people, and their reach varies. Their methods of operation are clearly not the same.
What we can say with certainty is that there is enough smoke around the Trump Organization, and the personal dealings of the former president, that it is impossible for the prudent observer to deny that investigation is warranted.
There cannot be two justice systems: One that punishes the less affluent, and one that glosses over the crimes of those in high places. That is, unfortunately, what this case will smack of, should DA Bragg fail to produce some sort of viable plan of action.
So we wait.
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