Donald Trump Revelations Put Alvin Bragg in 'Untenable Position'—Lawyers

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been put in an "untenable position" with regards to the ongoing criminal investigation into Donald Trump's business dealings, following the "scathing" resignation letter from his former prosecutor, according to experts.

On Wednesday, The New York Times published the letter from prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who quit as special assistant district attorney in February amid reports Bragg had doubts about pushing forward with prosecuting the former president and paused the grand jury investigation needed to indict him.

In the bombshell letter, Pomerantz, one of the top prosecutors working on the investigation into alleged tax fraud by The Trump Organization, said that the former president was "guilty of numerous felony violations" with regards to his "false" financial statements.

Pomerantz also hit out at Bragg for not seeking criminal charges against Trump even though the district attorney's predecessor who started the investigation, Cyrus Vance Jr., urged the department to seek an indictment "as soon as reasonably possible" because of the evidence against the former president.

"The team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes—he did," Pomerantz wrote.

"I fear that your decision means that Mr. Trump will not be held fully accountable for his crimes. I have worked too hard as a lawyer, and for too long, now to become a passive participant in what I believe to be a grave failure of justice."

Speaking to Newsweek, former Los Angeles County prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Josh Ritter said that Bragg is now in a no-win situation regarding how he continues the investigation into Trump, and that Pomerantz's letter presents "huge problems" for him and the former president.

"What Mr. Pomerantz is describing cannot be characterized as a simple difference in opinion between prosecutors. The letter is nothing short of a scathing rebuke on Mr. Bragg's refusal to bring charges against Trump for what Mr. Pomerantz describes as clear-cut criminal behavior," Ritter said.

"This letter places Mr. Bragg in a completely untenable position. If Mr. Bragg were to now reverse course and pursue an indictment against Trump, he will no doubt be excoriated for bowing to political pressure. Conversely, if Mr. Bragg maintains his current position the letter raises questions about Mr. Trump's potential crimes that cannot remain unanswered."

The criminal investigation in New York is one of a number of inquiries that Trump is facing.

The Manhattan DA probe has run parallel with a civil case headed by New York Attorney General Letitia James into allegations Trump's business inflated the value of several New York properties to obtain better bank loans and other financial benefits.

Trump could also face criminal charges in Georgia as part of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' investigation into 2020 election interference.

Willis has been investigating whether Trump committed an offense during a phone call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state, in which the then president asked for him to "find 11,780 votes" in order to help him win the election.

In January, Georgia prosecutors asked for a special grand jury to assist in the election fraud investigation, increasing speculation that an indictment against Trump could be forthcoming.

While the Manhattan DA investigation is still ongoing, Bragg's decision to not press forward with a grand jury presentation and seek criminal charges has cast doubt on whether Trump will ever be charged in connection to fraud allegations.

Neama Rahmani, former federal prosecutor and president of West Coast Trial Lawyers, told Newsweek that he does not believe the Manhattan District Attorney's Office will file charges against Trump under Bragg's tenure.

"Criminal prosecutions get worse over time, and delay benefits the defense," Rahmani said. "Witness memories fade, evidence disappears, and statute of limitations run.

"Bragg's apparent decision to delay the investigation and his reluctance to bring charges now is a clear win for Trump."

Following the publication of the Pomerantz's letter, a number of legal experts criticized Bragg as "shameful" and agreed with Pomerantz that not prosecuting Trump would be a "grave failure of justice."

However, despite the revelations made in Pomerantz's letter, there is still no guarantee that a grand jury would have indicted based on the evidence presented to them.

Barbara McQuade, a University of Michigan law professor and former U.S attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, notes that is particularly true in a fraud case, where specific intent to defraud must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

"Because we cannot read another person's mind, proving fraudulent intent requires circumstantial evidence, which some people view as weaker than direct evidence, even though the law makes no distinction," McQuade told Newsweek.

Discussing the Manhattan DA's future, McQuade said: "Alvin Bragg is the person voters elected to make these decisions, and his decision appears to be that there is not yet enough evidence to convict. If voters are unhappy with Bragg's decision, they have a remedy at the ballot box."

In a statement on Thursday, Trump's spokesperson Liz Harrington dismissed the claims made by "Radical Left lawyer" Pomerantz regarding Bragg not pursuing "phony" charges against the former president.

"President Trump built a great business, and did nothing wrong. New York should get back to solving their skyrocketing crime problem, rather than spending so much time and energy on partisan witch hunts," Harrington said.

The Trump Organization's longtime CFO Allen Weisselberg is due to stand trial over allegations that he avoided taxes on more than $1.7 million in connection to the investigation. Weisselberg, who was indicted in connection to the New York investigation, has denied the charges.

Bragg has been contacted for comment.

Alvin Bragg trump
Alvin Bragg has been put in an "untenable position" with regards to the criminal investigation into Donald Trump's business dealings, according to experts. Michael M. Santiago/MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Update 03/28/22, 7:46 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include additional context regarding other cases linked to Trump or his businesses.