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Manhattan DA Drops Felony Fraud Case Against Trump’s Kids After Receiving ‘Donation’ From Trump’s Lawyer: Report

A joint investigation by ProPublica, WNYC, and The New Yorker has revealed that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office dropped a criminal case against President Donald Trump’s two eldest children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka, after Trump’s longtime personal lawyer made a hefty donation to the district attorney’s campaign.

From the report:

“Investigators were reportedly on the verge of indicting Ivanka and Don Jr. on federal fraud charges after learning that they had intentionally misled investors and buyers about the value of the Trump SoHo hotel.

Prosecutors obtained several emails that indicated the Trump children knew they were misrepresenting the value to buyers, the report said. In one of them, the Trump children discussed “how to coordinate false information” they had presented to investors, according to four people who saw the email.

In another, the report said, Donald Trump Jr. reassured a broker who expressed concerns about the false information that no one would find out about it, “because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception,” according to a source who saw the email.

When the District Attorney’s office opened an investigation into Ivanka and Donald Jr., it appeared that the case would move forward.

However, things changed when Trump got involved and brought in Marc Kasowitz, his longtime personal defense attorney who also represented him in the Russia investigation earlier this year.

According to the report, Kasowitz donated $25,000 to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s reelection campaign.  He then went to Vance directly and made the same argument defense lawyers had previously made which, at the time, didn’t appear to sway prosecutors about the merits of the case.

Three months later, Vance told his staff to drop the case, according to the investigation. Less than six months later, Kasowitz again donated to Vance’s campaign, this time totaling more than $50,000.”

Vance maintains that he made the right call by ordering the case to be dropped.

“We acknowledge that the Defendants have not violated the criminal laws of the State of New York or the United States,” the attorney wrote at the time, according to the report. The letter was published in full by real-estate publication The Real Deal, which noted that the settlement “would have made it very difficult for Vance to land a guilty verdict against Trump and his partners.”

Vance has yet to return the $50,000 campaign contribution, however. He says he plans to because he doesn’t want the money “to be a millstone around anybody’s neck, including the office’s.”

The Trump family’s business dealings — including the Trump SoHo project — are reportedly being examined by special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigates potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election.

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