The abrupt resignations of two top prosecutors investigating former President Donald Trump and his business cast into doubt the future of the long-running probe as the clock winds down on the current grand jury and prosecutors debated whether they have a case.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been gearing up to decide in the coming weeks whether there is enough evidence to charge the former President and the Trump Organization with misleading lenders, insurers and others by providing them false or misleading financial statements, according to people familiar with the investigation.
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Bragg "is making the judgments he thinks are right and he's not worrying about the politics, and it shows because the politics are quite bad," said Ethan Greenberg, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a retired acting New York State Supreme Court justice. "He's alienating very different constituencies all at once very quickly."
Greenberg said one issue that could be stymieing prosecutors is New York's criminal code. He said that even if the Trump Organization financial statements are false and misleading, "New York law is not as well suited to white-collar offenses. Bragg must see some of the same difficulties that I'm talking about."
Greenberg said that to bring a case under New York's grand larceny law prosecutors would need to prove that Trump and the Trump Organization stole property when they gave allegedly false statements to lenders and others. That's hindered in part because Trump is in good standing on his loans. To prove a scheme to defraud, another law, he said, prosecutors would need to still prove underlying crimes.
"They know how to make a case. It doesn't mean it's an easy case. It would be difficult legally and in front of the jury," Greenberg said.
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