The Manhattan district attorney’s office is being investigated for closing cases against the wealthy and powerful after getting big campaign donations, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the report, the FBI is looking at whether Cy Vance Jr. and his staff dropped high-profile cases after “lawyers for the well-connected subjects made donations.”
Vance, a Democrat, once refused to bring criminal charges against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in an alleged real estate scam. The Trump children were facing charges of fraud for allegedly lying about the number of condos that had been sold in one of their properties.
At the time, Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz was once of Vance’s largest donors. The lawyer went directly to Vance to have the investigation dropped, and the DA complied with the request. Kasowitz had given Vance $25,000 before dropping the charges and another $32,000 after.
According to reporting by The New Yorker, Vance overruled his own prosecutors to clear the Trump children.
The investigation is looking at the office’s “decision-making” and “considering whether undue influence was at play.”
The issue got some publicity last year after it was revealed that Vance made the decision not to pursue charges against Harvey Weinstein in 2015 when model Ambra Battilana accused him of groping her.
Weinstein’s lawyer had given Vance $24,000 for his campaign and another attorney sent him an additional $10,000 after the decision.