How U.S. President Trump's two eldest children avoided criminal indictment

ANI | Updated: Oct 04, 2017 20:00 IST

New York [U.S.A.], October 4 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump's two eldest children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., tried to evade the criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development.

In 2010, when the Major Economic Crimes Bureau of the D.A.'s office opened an investigation of the siblings, the Trump Organisation had hired several top New York criminal-defence lawyers to represent Donald Jr., and Ivanka.

For two years, the prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's office had been building a criminal case against them for misleading prospective buyers of units in the Trump SoHo that was failing to sell, a collaborative article between The New Yorker, ProPublica, and WNYC said.

In a meeting with the defence team, Donald Trump, Sr., expressed frustration that the investigation had not been closed. Soon after, his longtime personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, entered the case.

An indictment seemed like a real possibility. The evidence included e-mails in which the Trumps discussed how to coordinate false information they had given to prospective buyers.

"The Trump children 'approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,' one person who saw the e-mails told us," the article said.

"They knew it was wrong."

These attorneys met with prosecutors and conceded that their clients had made exaggerated claims, but argued that the overstatements didn't amount to criminal misconduct. Still, the case dragged on.

Kasowitz had been the elder Donald Trump's attorney for a decade, is primarily a civil litigator, with little experience in criminal matters.

But, in 2012, Kasowitz joined the case and "donated twenty-five thousand dollars to the reelection campaign of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr. and asked him that the investigation be dropped. Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Vance defended his decision.

The report stated that just before the 2012 meeting, Vance's campaign had returned Kasowitz's twenty-five-thousand-dollar contribution. But, less than six months after the D.A.'s office dropped the case, Kasowitz made an even larger donation to Vance's campaign, and helped raise more from others-eventually, a total of more than fifty thousand dollars.

Vance said he now plans to give back Kasowitz's second contribution, too. "I don't want the money to be a millstone around anybody's neck, including the office's, the report added.

But Kasowitz made it clear saying that his donations to Vance were unrelated to the case.

"Vance defended his decision to drop the case with no conditions, even after Kasowitz offered a deal. 'This started as a civil case,' Vance said. 'It was settled as a civil case,'" the report added.

Then, in October, 2013, as Election Day approached, he hosted a breakfast for Republicans for Cy Vance, which raised an additional nine thousand dollars.

Vance defended his decision to accept the money Kasowitz sent his way.

The Trump SoHo went into foreclosure in 2014 and was taken over by a creditor. Only a hundred and twenty-eight of the three hundred and ninety-one units in the building have sold, the article concluded.

Ivanka Trump is now an advisor to the President and Donald, Jr., is running much of the family empire while his father is in the White House.

Kasowitz, on the other hand, attained national prominence, when he was retained to represent the President in the Russia investigation, only to be supplanted as lead counsel. (ANI)

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