New York State has opened a criminal investigation into former US President Donald Trump (photo November 2020)
A Democratic prosecutor nearing the end of his term, a loyal Trump family lieutenant, and a lawyer determined to sink his former boss: AFP details some of the players in New York’s criminal investigation into Donald Trump.
The 66-year-old Democrat has been a Manhattan District Attorney since 2010. He was the first to launch a criminal investigation into the Republican ex-president.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance (photo May 2020) doggedly pursued Donald Trump, won years of battle to obtain his tax records and committed significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation
Vance, whose father was US Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, has at times been accused of reluctance to prosecute the rich and powerful.
He delayed filing charges against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein before he received a historic conviction last year.
However, Vance has dogged Trump, first through years of struggle to win his tax returns and second, by devoting significant human and financial resources to the politically sensitive investigation.
He has announced that he will not run for a fourth term when his current term ends in December, and many observers expect him to go out with a bang over what would be the first charge against a former US president.
The Democrat became the first black woman to become the Attorney General of New York State in 2018.
Since then, the 62-year-old has earned a reputation as a militant and independent prosecutor, filing numerous civil lawsuits against major corporations, particularly tech giants, and the National Rifle Association (NRA).
In addition to Donald Trump, Letitia James (photo August 2020) is also investigating New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
While Trump was in the White House, James launched dozens of civil actions against his administration.
She is also investigating New York’s powerful Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo over sexual harassment allegations and his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
James has been cited as a possible successor to Cuomo, especially when her investigation forces him to resign.
The 73-year-old is the Trump Organization’s long-serving chief financial officer and one of the family’s most loyal servants.
He started out as an accountant for Trump’s father’s company before joining the Trump Organization as a financial controller in the 1980s, when Donald established himself as a broker in Manhattan.
Allen Weisselberg, pictured behind former President Donald Trump and his son Donald Jr. in January 2017, has been the Trump Organization’s Chief Financial Officer since the 1980s.
Weisselberg has been there for all of Trump’s entrepreneurial adventures, including when his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt.
According to Barbara Res, a former executive vice president at the Trump Organization, “Weisselberg thought Trump was a god,” she told the Daily News.
Investigators believe Weisselberg knows all of Trump’s family secrets and has been pressuring him for months to cooperate with their investigation.
Observers are keeping a close eye on whether Weisselberg will turn against his former boss.
Trump’s ex-personal attorney was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for tax evasion and violation of campaign finance laws related to Trump’s 2016 election victory.
Cohen was one of Trump’s closest henchmen for a decade, once proudly boasting that he was willing to “ take a bullet ” for the real estate mogul who became president.
Michael Cohen, pictured in March 2021, openly welcomes former boss Donald Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast
However, he turned on his former boss and decided to work with federal detectives in Manhattan.
During a Congressional hearing in February 2019, Cohen claimed, among other things, that Trump regularly undervalued or overvalued his assets, both at banks and insurance companies.
Cohen openly welcomes Trump’s legal troubles on Twitter and through his podcast ‘Mea Culpa’.