Even as recently as last week, Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance has been putting additional witnesses in front of a New York grand jury with the rather obvious intention of indicting Donald Trump for financial crimes. Of course Vance is set to retire a week from now, so there’s been a question of whether Vance would indict Trump before leaving office, or let incoming Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg pull the proverbial trigger in the new year. Now we have our answer.
The New York Times is reporting today that Vance is in fact leaving office without indicting Trump first. We’re about to see a whole lot of doomsday headlines and defeatist viral tweets about how this means Trump has “gotten away with it all.” But such headlines and tweets will be pure fiction, directly at odds with the facts at hand.
It’s abundantly clear that the Manhattan DA’s office has been ramping up the criminal case against Donald Trump of late, having everyone from his longtime Mazars account to Fortune Magazine reporters testify to the grand jury about Trump’s financial fraud. And last week it was reported that incoming DA Alvin Bragg will be personally focusing the criminal case against Trump, making clear that he considers it a priority.
So yes, Donald Trump is still (obviously) going to be criminally indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The only thing we learned today is that with the case still being presented to the grand jury, Vance was willing to let the process play out beyond the end of his term and let Bragg be the one to bring the indictment, as opposed to Vance having tried to rush the indictment so he could take credit for it before leaving office.
The only real question now is this: with Alvin Bragg taking office at the end of next week, how long will he take before pulling the proverbial trigger on the Donald Trump criminal indictment? We’ll have to watch for clues about that in the coming days, such as any reporting about additional grand jury activity. In the meantime, any upcoming narratives about Trump having “gotten away with it all” are obviously just fictional ratings grabs.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report