Two prosecutors leading the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s business practices abruptly resigned on Wednesday, The New York Times reports.
The unexpected resignations came after a reported one-month pause in the grand jury presentation.
Prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz submitted their resignations after new DA Alvin Bragg “indicated to them that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr. Trump,” sources told the Times.
In a statement after the resignations, a spokeswoman for Bragg said he was “grateful for their service” and that the investigation was ongoing.
Former District Attorney Cy Vance launched the probe years earlier, winning a Supreme Court case to obtain years of Trump’s tax returns. But the investigation has stalled after the indictment of longtime Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, who is accused of failing to pay taxes on fringe benefits from the company.
Probe on pause:
Prosecutors last month postponed a plan to question at least one witness before the grand jury.
The grand jury has not heard from witnesses in more than a month.
It’s unclear why Bragg decided to pull back but the Times noted that prosecutors “encountered a number of challenges,” including their inability to “persuade any Trump Organization executives to cooperate and turn on Mr. Trump.”
The pause comes as the grand jury’s term is expected to expire in April.
Prosecutors can ask to extend the term but typically try to avoid it. Prosecutors also avoid convening a second grand jury because witness statements may be inconsistent.
James probe lives on:
The Manhattan criminal probe is separate from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation into the Trump Organization.
“The investigation is ongoing, and there is a robust team working on it,” a spokeswoman for James said of the state probe.
A judge last week ordered Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Ivanka Trump to sit for a deposition under oath in the probe, though the decision is expected to be appealed.
Trump has denied all wrongdoing and accused the prosecutors of being politically biased.
“I’ve been representing Donald Trump for over a year in this case, and I haven’t found any evidence that could lead to a prosecution against him, or any crimes,” Trump lawyer Ronald Fischetti told the Times. “I hope Mr. Bragg will now look again at all the evidence in the case and make a statement that he is discontinuing all investigation of Donald Trump.”