NYC Prosecutor, Trump Nemesis Won’t Seek Reelection

March 12, 2021 by TWN Staff
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2020 file photo, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., center, leaves Harvey Weinstein's rape trial at Criminal Court, in New York. Vance, leading a criminal probe into Donald Trump's business dealings, said Friday, March 12, 2021, he would not seek re-election. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who is currently overseeing a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump will not seek re-election to a fourth term, he announced Friday morning.

“Representing the people of New York during this pivotal era for our city and our justice system has been the privilege of a lifetime,” Vance, who first ran for the position in 2009, said in a memo to prosecutors and staff.

“Working in partnership with Manhattan communities, the D.A.’s office we built together over the last decade has taken us beyond the ambitious blueprint we laid out in 2009,” he wrote.

With his announcement, Vance ended months of speculation about his future and almost certainly guaranteed a new D.A. will ultimately make the charging decision against Trump and his business empire.

Vance, a Democrat, counted Harvey Weinstein’s rape conviction a year ago among his crowning achievements but faced withering criticism over other high-profile cases, including dropping rape charges against French financier Dominique Strauss-Kahn in 2011 and declining to prosecute Ivanka and Donald Trump, Jr. over fraud allegations in 2012.

His decision not to seek reelection was widely anticipated, but he held off on making it official while the U.S. Supreme Court weighed whether his office could obtain Trump’s tax records. The court ruled in Vance’s favor last month.

Vance will lead that probe through the end of this year with his general counsel, Carey Dunne, who made appeals court arguments on the office’s behalf. He recently hired former mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to assist in the probe.

“I never imagined myself as district attorney for decades like my predecessors. I never thought of this as my last job, even though it’s the best job and biggest honor I’ll ever have. I said twelve years ago that change is fundamentally good and necessary for any institution,” Vance said in his announcement.

Reflecting on his tenure, Vance applauded his staff, saying together, “we built safer and stronger communities — not just by winning in court, but by making sustained investments in our neighborhoods so that fewer people became involved in the justice system in the first place.”

“Two, we made enduring, systemic reforms — using the power of our discretion to massively reduce our criminal justice footprint and the inequities that underlie unnecessary prosecutions,” he continued. “And three, we modernized our office to future-proof our neighbors against cybercrime, terrorism, trafficking, and other 21st-century threats. Together, we took one of the great public law offices of the 20th century and transformed it for the 21st.” 

Vance’s successor will be just the fourth elected district attorney in Manhattan in the last 80 years. Frank Hogan served for 31 years. Robert Morgenthau was in office for 34 years, until he was 90.

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