Court Battles

Manhattan DA hires ex-senior DOJ official as office investigates Trump


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has hired a former senior Justice Department official to work on the office’s “most sensitive and high-profile white-collar investigations,” which comes as the office investigates former President Trump.

Bragg announced on Monday that Matthew Colangelo, who acted as the Justice Department’s No. 3 official last year and previously investigated the Trump Foundation, will serve as senior counsel.

The announcement does not specifically name the Trump investigation, although The New York Times reported that Colangelo is expected to join the probe.

“Public safety requires economic stability, and all New Yorkers deserve to live and work without risk of harassment, wage theft or dangerous workplaces,” Bragg said in a statement. “Matthew Colangelo brings a wealth of economic justice experience combined with complex white-collar investigations, and he has the sound judgment and integrity needed to pursue justice against powerful people and institutions when they abuse their power.”

Colangelo also served in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s (D) office, where he worked on multiple investigations into the Trump administration as well as the former president’s private foundation.

“I am honored to reunite with District Attorney Bragg, my former colleague and a deeply experienced prosecutor committed to public safety in his hometown,” Colangelo said in a statement.

“Expanded enforcement of worker-protection and tenant-protection laws will make our communities safer for all New Yorkers and level the playing field for responsible employers and landlords,” he added. “And assisting with the District Attorney’s focus on financial crimes will promote confidence in the legal system by making clear that the same rules apply to everyone — no matter how powerful.”

Bragg’s office began a criminal investigation into Trump and his businesses under Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr.

Two top prosecutors in the probe resigned in February after Bragg reportedly signaled doubts about moving ahead, but Bragg has since indicated the investigation is “active and ongoing.”

The investigation has focused on whether Trump or his businesses inflated assets’ values to receive preferential loan terms.

But so far, the probe has led to only one trial, which is focused on whether the Trump Organization aided top executives in avoiding income taxes on nonmonetary compensation.

Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to 15 charges and testified during the trial. 

Trump himself is not charged in that trial, and it remains unclear if he will be as part of the office’s broader probe.

Tags Alvin Bragg Alvin Bragg Donald Trump Manhattan District Attorney Matthew Colangelo tax fraud

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