Watchdog Group Calls on State and Federal Prosecutors to Investigate Whether Donation by Trump Family Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Prompted Vance to Drop Case
Washington, DC – Non-partisan watchdog group American Oversight today called on state and federal law enforcement officials to investigate whether Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. improperly ended an investigation into potential fraud by Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. related to the Trump SoHo development.
“In example after example, Donald Trump’s family has been found to engage in shady business practices to rip off clients and contractors, and now it appears that their web of corruption may extend even into the Manhattan DA’s office. As Cyrus Vance knows, it is against the law to accept a campaign contribution in exchange for dropping an investigation. Vance’s decision – which appears to have been made without the input of the line prosecutors — suggests potential bribery,” said Austin Evers, Executive Director of American Oversight. “Right now, it looks like Vance may have dropped the Trump fraud case at the behest of one of his biggest campaign contributors, and it is critical that this situation is fully investigated.”
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. had been investigated for lying to investors in the Trump SoHo luxury development in Manhattan. In the face of weak sales, the Trumps reportedly misled potential buyers with falsified sales numbers. From 2010 to 2012, the matter was investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, but the investigation was abruptly dropped after District Attorney Vance met with Trump family lawyer Marc Kasowitz, one of Vance’s biggest contributors.
In a letter sent today to New York State and federal law enforcement officials, including the New York Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Attorneys for the Southern District of New York and the District of Columbia, American Oversight called for an investigation of possible criminal acts including bribery and honest services fraud..
Evers continued, “No one is above the law – not the president, not real estate developers or their lawyers, and definitely not the Manhattan DA.”