cover image People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account

People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account

Mark Pomerantz. S&S, $29.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-6680-2244-3

Former federal prosecutor Pomerantz, who came out of retirement to assist Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance’s investigation into Donald Trump, provides a thorough account of how the inquiry unfolded, and why it was put on hold when a new DA took office in 2022. Brought onboard in December 2020, Pomerantz worked pro bono to sort through a “long and unfocused laundry list” of issues identified by Vance and his team, including a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and “the use of overstated financial statements and asset valuations” to obtain loans, to determine which, if any, should be prosecuted. He diligently explains the legal complications involved, including the lack of trustworthy eyewitnesses and “stalling tactics” by Trump. The biggest stumbling block, however, appears to have been a disagreement between Vance and incoming DA Alvin Bragg about whether the risk of losing a case against Trump was greater than the need to “vindicate the rule of law.” Pomerantz builds a persuasive argument in favor of prosecution while acknowledging that Bragg’s tenure would have been “defined and ruined” by a loss. Those hoping for juicy new details will be largely disappointed, but Pomerantz offers a unique glimpse into white-collar criminal prosecution. It’s an eye-opening lesson in the many shades of the law. (Feb.)