New York attorney takes over Trump case – NBC Boston
Alvin Bragg has already landed a historic first, assuming office on Saturday as Manhattan’s first black district attorney. Now he weighs another: whether to make Donald Trump the first former president ever accused of a crime.
As a district attorney, Bragg inherited an investigation into Trump and his business practices from his predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., who refused to be re-elected last year after 12 years in this prominent position.
After weeks of speculation over whether Vance would end his tenure by indicting Trump, the former prosecutor passed the ruling on to Bragg, a 48-year-old civil rights lawyer and former federal prosecutor who was sworn in during the ‘a private ceremony, in part because of concerns over COVID-19.
Bragg told CNN last month that he would be directly involved in the Trump case. He also said he asked the two senior prosecutors who led the case under Vance’s leadership – General Counsel Carey Dunne and former Mafia District Attorney Mark Pomerantz – to stay and carry on.
“This is obviously a substantial case which personally deserves the DA’s attention,” Bragg told CNN.
The investigation resulted in charges last summer against Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg. In the fall, Vance called a new grand jury to hear the evidence in the case.
Trump himself is still under investigation by the office after Vance waged a years-long fight to gain access to the Republican’s tax records.
As Senior Deputy to the New York Attorney General in 2018, Bragg helped oversee a trial that led to the shutdown of Trump’s charitable foundation over allegations he used the nonprofit to promote its political and commercial interests.
Bragg, amid a growing wave of progressive and reformist prosecutors across the country, defeated Republican Thomas Kenniff in November after winning an eight-way Democratic primary in the spring.
Bragg campaigned in part on a promise to change the culture of the prosecutor’s office. Drawing on his own childhood experiences in Harlem during the 1980s crack epidemic, Bragg said he wanted to ‘shrink the system’, refusing to prosecute many low-level offenses and seek alternatives to prosecution. for petty “crimes of poverty”.
When he was 15, a police officer pointed a gun in his face and falsely accused him of being a drug dealer as he walked to buy his father’s groceries. Bragg filed a lawsuit at the behest of his parents, sparking interest in the law.
He had a knife to his throat. As an adult, he opened his home to a brother-in-law just released from prison. Sometimes, Bragg said, the Mandates Squad would show up looking for the brother-in-law, knock on the door, and wake their children.
Bragg spent the last days of his campaign participating in a rare judicial inquiry into the death of Eric Garner, whose “I can’t breathe” calls to the cops who threw him to the ground in a strangulation have become an issue. rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters in 2014. Bragg called it the most “emotionally significant” case of his career.
Being elected DA, Bragg said voters had placed “deep trust” in him.
“The fundamental role of the district attorney is to ensure both fairness and security,” Bragg told supporters on election night.
“This is the trust that was given to me on the ballot, but that was given to all of us – that’s what we worked for – to show the city and the country a model of partnership of matchmaking, equity and security in one. “