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Feds probe Manhattan district attorney’s office over their handling of cases – Allegations that investigations have been dropped after lawyers made donations; Two members of prosecution team quit Harvey Weinstein case over potential cover-up in DA’s office

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Feds reportedly probing the Manhattan district attorney’s office for any possible undue influence in the handling of cases
It follows revelations some cases have been closed after lawyers of high-profile suspects made campaign contributions to DA Cyrus Vance Jr
The DA’s office said they were not aware of the probe and the FBI would not comment on its inquiry
It has previously emerged that a lawyer for Weinstein once donated $10,000 to Vance after he decided not to pursue allegations of sexual misconduct
To date two of the four lead prosecutors set to face off against Weinstein in court departed the Manhattan DA’s office in mid-September
Harvey Weinstein faces five criminal charges after a charge of criminal sex act was dropped due to a witness stating the victim told her she was not forced
Two Manhattan DAs in prosecution team against Harvey Weinstein quit posts potential cover-up
The Manhattan District Attorney agreed to dismiss the charge brought by Lucia Evans last week after new information came to light
On September 12, the lead prosecutor, Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, sent a letter to Weinstein’s team about Evans’ allegedly admitting her claim was inaccurate
A witness says Evans admitted to giving Weinstein oral sex for an acting job
The Second Harvey Weinstein prosecutor quit Manhattan DA’s four-strong team amid controversy over possible police cover-up of damaging evidence against an accuser
The NYPD Detective that was informed of the new information is being accused of trying to cover it up
Assistant District Attorney, Rachel Hochhauser, left the office on September 19 to work in the private sector
The following day Jennifer Gaffney, deputy chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, was also given a going away party though it is unclear if she has taken a new job
Donations were also made to Vance while he was investigating Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr, but that case was also dropped

The FBI is reportedly looking into the Manhattan district attorney’s office over how they handle cases following revelations that some investigations have been closed after lawyers of high-profile suspects made donations.
FBI agents have been gathering information about Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office for several months now, sources told the New York Daily News.
They are investigating any possible undue influence in the handling of cases by the district attorney’s office as they look into decisions made by Vance Jr. and his staff.
Investigators have been looking at both current and former DA staffers and the extent of their relationships to outside private lawyers.

Protestations against Cyrus Vance Jr 2.JPGThe office of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr came under fire last year after questions surfaced about the 2015 decision not to prosecute ex-Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein after Ambra Battilana accused him of groping her breasts in his office

The Manhattan DA’s office faced questions last year over a 2015 decision not to pursue investigations into allegations against ex-Hollywood heavy weight Harvey Weinstein by model Ambra Battilana who accused him of groping her breasts in his Tribeca office.
A lawyer hired by Weinstein at the time had given Vance $24,000 and another attorney sent him $10,000 after the decision to spare the iconic producer the ordeal of an arrest.
In another case, the DA also failed to bring criminal charges against two of President Trump’s children in an alleged real estate scam. – Vance’s office cleared then real estate developer’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son Donald Trump Jr., who were being looked at for allegedly defrauding Trump SoHo investors and would-be buyers by lying about the number of condos that had been sold.
FBI agents have reportedly been gathering information about Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office for several months now.
The DA’s office said they were not aware of the probe and the FBI would not comment on its inquiry.
Questions of  possible impropriety was stoked when a lawyer for Weinstein, who was not representing the Hollywood producer in that investigation, was found to have donated $10,000 to Vance in the months after the DA’s office decided not to pursue the case.
In relation to Weinstein, Gov. Andrew Cuomo in August directed the state attorney general’s office to suspend its investigation into whether Vance mishandled the allegations to avoid interfering with his ongoing prosecution of the producer.

Harvey Weinstein 3There have been rumblings of official attempts at coverup in the investigation of the Harvey Weinstein [photo] rape and sexual assault claims

In another instance, Vance’s office also dropped charges against President Trump’s two children, Ivanka and Don Jr., from a fraud investigation that was launched in 2010.
The probe stemmed from a civil lawsuit in which some condominium buyers at the Trump SoHo hotel accused Ivanka and Don Jr. of lying about how many units had been sold.
In 2012, Vance met with an attorney for the pair, Marc Kasowitz, who had donated to his re-election campaign.
The investigation was still active in 2012 when Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz donated $25,000 to DA Vance’s re-election campaign. Four months after making the contribution, Kasowitz met with Vance to discuss the case. Three months later, Vance halted the investigation.
Vance, a Democrat, said at the time that the fact that Kasowitz was a campaign supporter had no bearing on his decision.
Vance did return the $25,000 donation from Kasowitz before their meeting, a step the prosecutor said was part of his policy of returning any money contributed by someone with a case before his office.
Five months after the investigation into the Trump SoHo hotel ended, Kosowitz gave another $31,993 to Vance’s campaign committee. He returned the second amount in October 2017 after facing scrutiny.

Rachel Hochhauser (left) and Jennifer Gaffney (right) 1Assistant District Attorney Rachel Hochhauser [left] and Jennifer Gaffney [right] deputy chief of the Sex Crimes Unit both left the Manhattan District Attorneys office in mid-September following revaluation of an alleged cover-up of a witness who had information regarding one of Weinstein’s accusers

The fallout of the rumblings of a seeming slack job in the investigation of some of the more high profile cases  the DA’s office have been harder to cover up.
In the wake of a potential cover up scandal, a second member of the Harvey Weinstein prosecution team quit the Manhattan DA’s Office in September amid controversy over whether the lead investigator, or lead prosecutor covered up damaging evidence against one of Weinstein’s accusers.
To date, two members of the four person team at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office set to face off against Harvey Weinstein over sexual assault allegations in court, have left amid the cover-up scandal.  Jennifer Gaffney, deputy chief of the Sex Crimes Unit, was thrown a going away party on September 20.
Her going away party was held just a day before Assistant District Attorney, Rachel Hochhauser, who was the ‘second chair’ in the Weinstein trial team, departed the office for a job in the private sector at a security firm.
The two ADAs parted ways with the office after lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon wrote to the defense on September 12 claiming that NYPD Detective Nicholas DiGaudio had admitted to withholding information about Weinstein accuser Lucia Evans.

Harvey Weinstein 9Two of the four prosecutors in the sexual assault case against Harvey Weinstein [photo], have departed  the Manhattan DA’s office  

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