The two prosecutors leading the Manhattan district attorney's investigation into former President Donald Trump's business practices resigned Wednesday, after an abrupt and months-long halt on presenting evidence to a grand jury.
Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz summited resignations after progressive Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg expressed he had doubts about moving forward with a criminal case against Trump, the New York Times reported.
Pomerantz confirmed in a brief interview that he had resigned, but declined to elaborate, while Dunne refused to comment, according to the New York Times.
Late last month the prosecutors had postponed a plan to question at least one witness before the grand jury, a source told the New York Times. It's been more than a month since any witnesses have been questioned in front of the grand jury.
The pause had plateaued the inquiry for the prosecutors seeking to determine if Trump had inflated asset values to obtain favorable loan terms from banks.
There's been little to no indications showing the reasons for Bragg's hesitancy as he's made few public statements about the case's status since taking office. A spokeswoman for Braggs said in a statement responding to the resignations that he is "grateful for [Pomerantz and Dunne's] service" and that the probe is ongoing.
Dunne is a veteran of the office who has had close involvement in the inquiry for years while Pomerantz is a prominent leader in New York legal circles who was enlisted to work on the case. The duo's resignations now clouds the high-profile case's future, dealing a devastating blow to the prosecutorial undertaking. As a result, the years-long investigation could weaken, the New York Times observed.
The grand jury's term is scheduled to expire in April. Prosecutors can ask jurors to vote to extend the term, but it's a move that's generally avoided. The prosecution seldom wants to impanel a new grand jury after an earlier body heard testimony, because witnesses could make conflicting statements if asked to testify again.
According to the New York Times, the resignations "mark an unexpected turnabout" after the investigation had intensified in recent months. Bragg's predecessor Cyrus R. Vance Jr. convened the grand jury in the fall and in mid-January, reporters for the New York Times witnessed "significant activity" at the Lower Manhattan courthouse where the grand jury meets, observing at least two witnesses visiting the building and staying the courthouse inside for hours.
The pair of witnesses spotted by the press were Trump's longtime accountant and an expert in the real estate industry, according to the New York Times sources. Dunne and Pomerantz also made regular appearances at the courthouse.
The burst of activity indicated that Bragg was surging ahead with the grand jury phase of the investigation, a final step before seeking charges. But in recent weeks, the case has lost momentum with Dunne and Pomerantz seen on rare occasions.
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