A partisan investigation into Trump seems to have dead-ended
At least one criminal case that Democrat activists filed against Trump may be ending with a whimper. You may recall that there's a criminal fraud case against Trump in Manhattan. To the New York Times' manifest despair, it seems that there is no evidence of an actual crime. Things are so bad that two of the lead prosecutors on the case quit when the district attorney expressed serious doubt in the case.
In 2018, Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan's then–district attorney, charged the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, with tax fraud allegedly related to overvaluing properties to obtain bank loans. From the outside looking in, it was obviously a fallacious charge. After all, any marginally competent bank conducts its own property valuation before issuing loans.
Nevertheless, Vance pushed hard, going so far as to get a ruling from the Supreme Court allowing the district attorney's office to get Trump's tax returns. From Trump's point of view, that was probably the nadir of the case.
It turns out that, from the D.A.'s point of view, that order may have been the case's high point. Things have gotten so bad that Alvin Bragg, the new district attorney and a hard leftist, was heard to say "he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr. Trump." That language comes from a New York Times article informing readers that, because of Bragg's vote of no confidence in the case, two prosecutors — Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz — resigned from their jobs.
I know that schadenfreude — that is, rejoicing in the unhappiness of others — is an ugly thing, but I couldn't help myself as I read the article. It took four reporters to write an essay that oozes despair in every sentence.
There's the stalled investigation: "Without Mr. Bragg's commitment to move forward, the prosecutors late last month postponed a plan to question at least one witness before the grand jury, one of the people said." The fact that the grand jury process has halted is a problem because this grand jury term ends in April. It turns out that prosecutors don't like to reconvene new grand juries for old cases in case witness testimony changes. Too bad, so sad.
Image: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.
My favorite part of the article comes when the four authors admit that they have no idea why Bragg lost faith in the case. However, they concede that "prosecutors had encountered a number of challenges" when it came to giving Trump the equivalent of a colonoscopy by criminal legal process. Why was this particular procedure coming up with nothing? "Notably, they had thus far been unable to persuade any Trump Organization executives to cooperate and turn on Mr. Trump."
Maybe that's because there was nothing to turn on Mr. Trump about. After all, Trump is the most investigated man in America, and those conducting these investigations are all deeply, almost religiously, hostile to Trump. Yet he keeps coming out of these witch hunts as clean as a whistle.
The reporters are doubly disappointed because the tea leaves seemed so favorable for finally catching Trump in wrongdoing. The investigation, they say, "had recently intensified." Vance was questioning witnesses. Times reporters hanging around the courthouse saw two witnesses (Trump's longtime accountant and a real estate industry expert) go in and stay "inside for hours." It doesn't seem to have occurred to these disappointed reporters that the testimony from those two witnesses might have been what convinced Bragg that this case was a probable loser.
There's still hope for Democrats, though, because New York State attorney general Letitia James is pursuing the identical witch hunt against Trump and shows no sign of stopping. She's even more of an ideologue than Bragg is and may be inclined to take the case all the way to trial, even if a wiser prosecutor would draw back before a humiliating loss.
The best that James can do is bring a civil case against Trump, which has a lower burden of proof. But again, if a bank isn't doing due diligence by conducting its own property valuations before handing out millions of dollars, frankly, the bank deserves anything that comes its way.
The same Times article also looks hopefully to Georgia, where an equally spurious case is moving forward, this time saying Trump, by demanding an investigation into the shenanigans in Fulton County, was trying to "overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia." Meanwhile, in Westchester County, New York, Democrats are going after Trump's dealings with a golf course.
The one success these investigations and prosecutions have had is that Mazars USA, Trump's accounting firm, finally quit. To the reporters' obvious disgust, though, Mazars didn't announce that Trump was a fraud. It simply washed its hands of everything.
There's a significant truth buried in this long article, replete with assurances that Trump is still at the center of vicious partisan lawfare along with acknowledgments that the cases just don't seem to go anywhere: Trump was the people's choice and a strong rebuke to Republican ineffectiveness and Democrat corruption at state and federal levels. Rather than cleaning house, these same inept, corrupt people will do anything to keep Trump off the ballot in 2024.