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How the Pomerantz book shines a light on federal prosecutors, too

The ex-prosecutor’s book obviously criticizes Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. But it also raises questions about the feds' role in Trump evading justice.


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is clearly a target of criticism in Mark Pomerantz’s new book. Pomerantz, the former special prosecutor who’s set to appear on the show Tuesday for an interview with Nicolle, left the office after Bragg didn’t quickly move to charge Donald Trump in state court.

But it’s important not to miss another actor in the city’s Trump drama: the feds. Of course, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was convicted in 2018 in the Southern District of New York, for charges stemming from a hush money scheme that directly implicated Trump. Though Department of Justice policy against charging sitting presidents explains why it didn’t charge Trump while in office, it doesn’t explain why it didn’t charge him after, whether in connection with that case or the broader financial probe that Pomerantz pushed at the DA's office and ultimately wanted the feds to take over.

As Pomerantz observed in his book, “People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account,” once Trump left office, federal prosecutors "could have mounted an aggressive investigation of Trump’s tax filings and his finances generally. ... Nevertheless, the feds had not gone near Trump’s financial statements or his tax returns."

He went on to write:

Fundamentally, the case always should have been investigated by the Department of Justice, not the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The legal advantages of federal prosecution that I spoke about in my final conversation with Alvin were all real and important. I am convinced that a federal investigation into Trump’s financial statements would have turned out differently. Why the feds never took on the investigation, either at the beginning or later, is a question I cannot answer.

As we keep our eyes on DA Bragg’s newly developing grand jury presentation, it’s a question we should keep asking.