Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg picked a new lead for his probe of Donald Trump's business practices, the Washington Post Reports. Susan Hoffinger, Bragg's investigations chief, will lead a team of about 25 lawyers, paralegals, and analysts to review records and determine whether Trump and his company undervalued their assets to obtain tax breaks and overvalued them to obtain better loan terms and insurance rates. The decision followed the abrupt resignation of veteran attorneys Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, who had been assigned to the case. Sources said that the resignations came after Dunne and Pomerantz began to feel that Bragg, who took office on January 1, was not interested in pursuing a case and had not given them sufficient direction. Bragg's office has denied that claim.
The investigation has gone on for more than three years. A year ago the office obtained Trump's tax returns after a battle with his counsel that ended at the Supreme Court. Since then, prosecutors have secured an indictment from a grand jury against the Trump Organization and its longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg. It alleges tax fraud spread over 15 years. Last year, then-DA, Cyrus Vance, Jr., authorized prosecutors to also seek charges against Trump, and another six-month grand jury was convened in the fall to hear evidence. No charges were brought by the time Vance left office. Dunne and Pomerantz hoped that Bragg would continue the effort with vigor, but they felt that he was slow to read memos on their progress or meet with them, and that they were losing momentum. Bragg's case is moving forward in conjunction with a civil probe by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Trump says the probes are politically motivated.