BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | APRIL 12, 2023
Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/04/12/manhattan-d-a-enlisted-a-whos-who-of-biden-admin-buddies-for-trump-takedown/
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A New York City law firm with “strong ties” to Democrats and the Biden administration, and a big-time fundraiser for both, lent the Manhattan district attorney three lawyers to help him take down Donald Trump. This cohort included former Special Assistant District Attorney Mark F. Pomerantz, whose leaked resignation letter appears responsible for the Manhattan prosecutor’s decision to indict Trump.
Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg became the first prosecutor to bring criminal charges against a former president when he moved forward last week with the arraignment of Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records. The pathetic, barebones indictment was quickly denounced by pundits on both sides of the political aisle. Then on Friday, the House Judiciary Committee raised additional concerns about the role Matthew Colangelo, the former No. 3 man in the Biden administration’s Department of Justice, played in the targeting of Trump.
While Bragg’s hiring of Colangelo to reportedly “jump-start” the investigation into Trump further indicates the indictment was politically motivated, the Manhattan D.A. office’s unprecedented use of outside, Democrat-connected lawyers to investigate Trump pre-dates Colangelo’s arrival by nearly a year.
In early to mid-February of 2021, Bragg’s predecessor, District Attorney Cyrus Vance, arranged for private criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to be a special assistant district attorney for the Manhattan D.A.’s office. Pomerantz, whom The New York Times noted was to work “solely on the Trump investigation,” took a temporary leave of absence from his law firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he had defended former Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., against alleged campaign finance violations. But even before being sworn in as a special assistant to the Manhattan D.A., Pomerantz had reportedly “been helping with the case informally for months…”
According to the Times, “the hiring of an outsider is a highly unusual move for a prosecutor’s office.” One must wonder, then, how much more unusual it is for the Manhattan D.A.’s office to receive the “informal” assistance of a private criminal defense attorney. The legacy news outlet, however, justified the hiring of Pomerantz based on the “usual complexity” of “the two-and-a-half-year investigation of the former president and his family business.”
A few months later, the D.A.’s office welcomed two more outsiders, Elyssa Abuhoff and Caroline Williamson, who also both took leaves of absence from the New York powerhouse Paul, Weiss to work on the Trump investigation as special assistant district attorneys.
For a law firm to lend not one but three lawyers to the Manhattan D.A.’s office seems rather magnanimous, until you consider Paul, Weiss’s previous generosity to Joe Biden. During Biden’s White House run, the law firm hosted a $2,800-per-plate fundraiser for about 100 guests.
The chair of the Paul, Weiss law firm, Brad Karp, also topped the list of Biden fundraisers, bundling at least $100,000 for the then-candidate. “As someone who cares passionately about preserving the rule of law, safeguarding our democracy and protecting fundamental liberties, I’ve been delighted to do everything I possibly can to support the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris ticket,” Karp wrote in an email.
Karp’s support of the Democrat presidential ticket isn’t surprising given that his fellow Paul, Weiss partner Robert Schumer is Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s brother.
Biden’s connection to the firm, however, dates much further back, with the former secretary of homeland security in the Obama-Biden administration, Jeh Johnson, also heralding from Paul, Weiss. Once elected president, Biden nominated Jonathan Kanter, a former partner of Paul, Weiss, to serve as the top antitrust enforcement official at the Justice Department. In fact, according to Bloomberg, Paul, Weiss has “emerge[d] as Biden-Era N.Y. Power Center.”
The three Paul, Weiss alumni sent to the Manhattan D.A.’s office to bolster the Trump investigations would all make news, but for different reasons. Pomerantz first garnered headlines when he resigned as a special assistant district attorney in early 2022, after Bragg became Manhattan’s D.A.
In his resignation letter, leaked to The New York Times, Pomerantz said that in late 2021, Bragg’s predecessor, Vance, had “concluded that the facts warranted prosecution, and he directed the team to present evidence to a grand jury and to seek an indictment of Mr. Trump and other defendants as soon as reasonably possible.” But after replacing Vance as D.A., Bragg decided “not to go forward with the grand jury presentation and not to seek criminal charges at the present time,” Pomerantz wrote, adding, “The investigation has been suspended indefinitely.”
What Pomerantz’s letter did not say, however, was that in late 2021, “at least three career prosecutors asked to move off the investigation,” reportedly “concerned that the investigation was moving too quickly, without clear evidence to support possible charges.” Instead, in his resignation, Pomerantz declared he believes “Donald Trump is guilty of numerous felony violations,” that “the public interest warrants the criminal prosecution of Mr. Trump,” and that “such a prosecution should be brought without any further delay.”
Pomerantz later rejoined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and authored a book about the Trump investigation.
Pomerantz’s letter and his claims that Bragg had suspended the Trump probe triggered a political firestorm, which the Manhattan D.A. sought to quell by telling the public the investigation was ongoing.
Meanwhile, the Manhattan D.A.’s office pushed forward in its criminal case against the Trump Corporation. A grand jury had indicted the Trump Corporation in late June of 2021 on charges it engaged in a scheme to avoid paying taxes on the salaries of high-level executives by instead funneling compensation through perks, such as luxury apartments and cars. A second Trump corporation would later be added to the criminal case that went to trial in late 2022.
The trial team that prosecuted the case included the other two Paul, Weiss attorneys on loan to the Manhattan D.A.’s office: Abuhoff and Williamson. Bragg borrowed a third outside attorney, Gary T. Fishman, from New York’s Democrat Attorney General Letitia James. Along with three regular members of the Manhattan D.A.’s office, the three “special assistant district attorneys” helped convict the Trump-related business entities in early December 2022.
After securing convictions of the two Trump corporations, Abuhoff and Williamson ended their “special assistant district attorney” relationship with Bragg’s office in December 2022 and went back to Paul, Weiss — a return that would be short-lived. Abuhoff rejoined the Manhattan D.A.’s office in February 2023, and Williamson returned the next month, but now both as regular members of the staff.
So short was their time back at Paul, Weiss, in fact, that one must wonder if the firm paid them bonuses following their departure from the Manhattan D.A.’s office. The Federalist posed this question to Paul, Weiss, but the inquiry went unanswered. Paul, Weiss also did not respond to questions concerning whether the lawyers received any compensation or Paul, Weiss benefits while on leave to the D.A.’s office.
Abuhoff and Williamson’s return to the D.A.’s office followed the news that in early December, Bragg had hired Matthew Colangelo from the Biden DOJ to “jump-start” the office’s investigation into Trump. Upon his inauguration, Biden had appointed Colangelo to serve in the No. 3 slot at the DOJ, showing the trust Biden has in the lawyer now charged with taking down his opponent Trump.
Colangelo had also previously worked in the Obama-Biden administration and as chief counsel and executive deputy attorney general in A.G. James’ office, where he and Fishman reportedly investigated Trump. As noted above, James would later lend Fishman to the Manhattan D.A.’s office, keeping with her campaign promise to “be a real pain in the -ss” to Trump. It’s no wonder House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan is concerned about Colangelo’s role in the unprecedented indictment.
Connecting the Dots
But the issue goes much beyond Colangelo, for it seems likely Bragg never would have hired Colangelo had Pomerantz’s resignation letter never been leaked to The New York Times. It’s outrageous that Pomerantz was reportedly “informally” advising the former Manhattan D.A. while working for the “Biden-Era N.Y. Power Center” law firm with extensive connections to Democrats. Equally outrageous is the fact that the same law firm lent the D.A.’s office three lawyers to bolster the Trump investigation.
It seems Bragg was swayed by New York politics to alter the communist boast of Joseph Stalin’s secret police chief, Lavrentiy Beria: “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” The Manhattan D.A. had the man but couldn’t find the crime.
“Lend me your top attorneys to show me a crime,” is the new motto of the political machine New York Democrats built to purge the country, communist style, of Trump. That should horrify every American.
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