'It's a righteous case': Manhattan prosecutors clashed with new DA over Trump criminal investigation
Donald Trump, Allen Weisselberg and Donald Trump Jr. (AFP)

In an extensive deep dive into what happened in the Manhattan district attorney's office that led two seasoned lawyers investigating Donald Trump to resign, the New York Times is reporting it came after a series of contentious meetings with the newly-elected DA butting heads with the attorneys.

Weeks after lawyers Mark F. Pomerantz and Carey R. Dunne made a public announcement that they were resigning, the Times is now reporting on a meeting in January where new DA Alvin Bragg and some of his associates questioned whether there was a case at all after months of investigations.

As the Times is reporting, "Mr. Bragg and his senior aides, masked and gathered around a conference table on the eighth floor of the district attorney’s office in Lower Manhattan, had serious doubts. They hammered Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Dunne about whether they could show that Mr. Trump had intended to break the law by inflating the value of his assets in the annual statements, a necessary element to prove the case," before adding that an "exasperated" Dunne finally fired back, "Wow, this was a really hot bench. What I’m hearing is you have great concerns.”

The Times report adds, "The meeting, on Jan. 24, started a series of events that brought the investigation of Mr. Trump to a sudden halt, and late last month prompted Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Dunne to resign. It also represented a drastic shift: Mr. Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., had deliberated for months before deciding to move toward an indictment of Mr. Trump. Mr. Bragg, not two months into his tenure, reversed that decision."

According to the report, Pomerantz and Dunne were excluded from closed-door meetings where decisions on the case were being made which contributed to the fall-out with the new DA.

The report notes that at the end of last year a new strategy had been reached by the two attorneys "to charge Mr. Trump with conspiracy and falsifying business records — specifically his financial statements — a simpler case that essentially amounted to painting Mr. Trump as a liar rather than a thief."

"The case still was not a slam dunk, Mr. Dunne acknowledged at the meeting. But he argued that it was better to lose than to not try at all," the Times is reporting, adding that Dunne told Bragg, “It’s a righteous case that ought to be brought."

"Either way, they needed an answer, and Mr. Bragg promised to deliver one within a week. In the ensuing days, he called numerous members of the team and peppered them with questions," the report continues. "On the morning of Feb. 22, Mr. Bragg notified them of his decision: He did not want to continue the grand jury presentation."

That subsequently led Pomerantz to resign the next day and Dunne following him out the door hours later.

According to the Times, "Mr. Dunne, however, left the door open to a possible return. If Mr. Bragg reconsidered his decision, Mr. Dunne told colleagues, he would gladly come back."

You can read more here.