Things that make you go hmmm
President Trump's children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, were nearly indicted for felony fraud on the charge of misleading buyers of Trump SoHo hotel condos in 2012, but the case was ultimately dismissed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. after he met with Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, ProPublica, WNYC, and The New Yorker jointly report.
Kasowitz donated $25,000 to Vance's re-election campaign in 2012. And while Vance returned the $25,000 shortly before meeting with Kasowitz, Kasowitz afterward helped raise more than $50,000 for the district attorney. Asked about the $50,000 payment by reporters, Vance said he would now return the money — "more than four years after the fact," as ProPublica notes.
In the 2012 meeting with Vance, Kasowitz did not present any new arguments that Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.'s lawyers had not already made unsuccessfully. What's more, the real estate magnate's children reportedly "knew" that they had inflated numbers at their hotel in order to make more sales, one person familiar with the Trumps' email correspondences said:
In one email, according to four people who have seen it, the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers. In another, according to a person who read the emails, they worried that a reporter might be onto them. In yet another, Donald Jr. spoke reassuringly to a broker who was concerned about the false statements, saying that nobody would ever find out, because only people on the email chain or in the Trump Organization knew about the deception, according to a person who saw the email. [ProPublica]
Speaking with reporters, Vance defended his decision to overrule prosecutors: "I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed," he said. "I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call." Read the full report at ProPublica.