Posted 10 days ago
The Manhattan district attorney's office has hired a high-profile attorney with decades of experience with white collar crime cases as it ramps up its investigation into Donald Trump's business dealings.
Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor for the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, joined Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr's team as a special assistant district attorney earlier this month, Vance's office confirmed last week.
Pomerantz has already hit the ground running, conducting an interview with Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen on Thursday, Reuters reported.
His hiring is part of a flurry of recent activity in Vance's investigation into the Trump family business, a probe which has been open for two and a half years.
Pomerantz, 69, has long been heralded as a leading figure in New York legal circles, having served as chief of the criminal division in the US Attorney's Office for SDNY from 1997 to 1999 before moving into private practice with the law firm Paul Weiss.
As a private attorney, Pomerantz has regularly represented major companies and officials in state and federal prosecutions, including cases brought by the US Department of Justice.
He has handled matters involving charges of corporate misconduct, financial fraud, tax crimes and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a federal law used to prosecute organized crime and ongoing criminal activities.
The attorney is credited with helping form the legal definition of racketeering in a RICO case he defended in 1988, according to the New York Times.
Pomerantz launched his career with two impressive clerkships, with Judge Edward Weinfeld in Manhattan and Justice Potter Stewart on the Supreme Court.
He went on to serve as a federal prosecutor for the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan, where he rose through the ranks to lead the appellate unit.
Pomerantz left the US Attorney's Office in 1982 for private practice, where he worked on more than two dozen cases involving organized crime at a time when prosecutors dramatically escalated efforts to put Mafia bosses behind bars.
He returned to SDNY in the late 90s to oversee more major organized crime and securities fraud cases, including the prosecution of Gambino boss John A Gotti.
Pomerantz left the SDNY again in 2000 to join Paul Weiss. One of his biggest cases to date was defending then-senator Robert Torricelli (D - New Jersey) against allegations of campaign finance violations in 2002.
His experience in both prosecuting and defending white collar criminals will likely prove invaluable to Vance's office in its investigation of Trump.
'He worked both sides of the street, so he's not going to be biased by virtue of temperament,' Robert S Litt, a former general counsel for the Director of National Intelligence who has known Pomerantz since the 70s, told the Times.
Danny Frost, a spokesman for Vance, said that Pomerantz' role will be limited to the Trump probe. He is expected to focus on conducting interviews.
The Times noted that Vance's unusual decision to bring in outside counsel for an investigation highlights how complicated the Trump case is.
The newspaper said Pomerantz, who is taking a leave of absence from his firm, has been assisting in the investigation informally 'for months'.
News of Pomerantz' appointment followed reports that Vance recently issued roughly a dozen new subpoenas in its investigation of Trump, two sources close to the probe told Reuters.
One of the subpoenas went to Ladder Capital Finance LLC, a major creditor used by Trump and his company, the Trump Organization, to finance the former president´s commercial real estate holdings, the sources said.
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