New Manhattan DA Pledges to Focus on Trump Probe

New Manhattan DA Pledges to Focus on Trump Probe alvin bragg speaks to crowd at rally Then-District attorney candidate Alvin Bragg speaks during a Get Out the Vote rally at A. Philip Randolph Square in Harlem on Nov. 01, 2021, in New York City. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

By Brian Freeman | Monday, 20 December 2021 09:58 AM

The next Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg Jr, who will be sworn into office on Jan. 1, told CNN that he will focus on the investigation into former President Donald Trump's business practices.

"This is obviously a consequential case, one that merits the attention of the DA personally," said Bragg, who has not yet been briefed on the facts of the Trump case, which is before a state grand jury.

Carey Dunne, general counsel to the current District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., has agreed to continue on the case, sources told CNN.

Bragg said he would like highly regarded attorney Mark Pomerantz to also stay on the team.

"It's hard for me to evaluate not knowing the facts, but just having worked on lots of investigations that are complex, I can say that you've got two very good lawyers that have been looking at it for a while. I think it would be a disservice to Manhattan to lose them," Bragg said.

He added that "I may add other people to the team," but made it clear that "Carey and Mark have been doing this a long time. I want to hear what they're thinking. I'll bring my experience to bear."

The multi-year investigation appears to be coming to a head, with prosecutors concentrating on the accuracy of the Trump Organization's financial statements when seeking financing, sources told CNN.

Prosecutors have started bringing witnesses before the grand jury, and have also recently interviewed employees from Deutsche Bank, one of Trump's main lenders.

In July, criminal charges were announced alleging that the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, engaged in a 15-year tax fraud scheme.

Bragg, a former federal prosecutor is set to make history as the first Black district attorney for New York County, told CNN that even though the probe involves a former president, he would apply "the analysis that we've always used, I've always used, in multiple offices." He said that is: "Would you bring this case otherwise? That's got to be the guiding light."

Julian Moore, a former federal prosecutor who has known Bragg since they were Harvard University students, said that "in the case of Mr. Trump before the DA's office, I don't see Alvin proceeding any differently than he has in the past, which means he will pursue the matter without fear or favor and seek even-handed justice for all those that deserve it."

With only two weeks remaining in Vance's term, it's not likely he will reach a charging decision in the probe, which started in 2018, as he had hoped, so the task will fall to Bragg.