There are 8 candidates vying to replace Cy Vance as Manhattan’s DA. The Greater Harlem Coalition – GreaterHarlem.nyc – is hosting a virtual forum for residents of Harlem and East Harlem.
To attend the forum, go to this link: Attend the DA Candidates’ Forum
To submit a question to the candidates, go to this link: Submit a Question
The theme of the forum will be Harlem’s Fair Share and will be your chance to ask why Harlem and East Harlem have different services, programs, amenities, outcomes, etc. when compared to other New York City neighborhoods and what the Manhattan DA’s office can do about it.
The office of the Manhattan DA is the office that let the Trump children walk away from a criminal indictment, and how, mysteriously and subsequently, a $50,000 campaign contribution appeared in Cy Vance’s account – from one of the Trump lawyers pleading to let the Trump case. The New Yorker has a great article on how Trump got away with it all using high priced lawyers, ‘donations’, and the Manhattan DA’s office:
in 2012, Kasowitz donated twenty-five thousand dollars to the reëlection campaign of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr., making Kasowitz one of Vance’s largest donors. Kasowitz decided to bypass the lower-level prosecutors and went directly to Vance to ask that the investigation be dropped.
On May 16, 2012, Kasowitz visited Vance’s office at One Hogan Place, in downtown Manhattan—a faded edifice made famous by the television show “Law & Order.” Dan Alonso, the Chief Assistant District Attorney, and Adam Kaufmann, the chief of the investigative division, were also at the meeting, but no one from the Major Economic Crimes Bureau attended. Kasowitz did not introduce any new arguments or facts during his session. He simply repeated the arguments that the other defense lawyers had been making for months.
Ultimately, Vance overruled his own prosecutors. Three months after the meeting, he told them to drop the case. Kasowitz subsequently boasted to colleagues about representing the Trump children, according to two people. He said that the case was “really dangerous,” one person said, and that it was “amazing I got them off.” (Kasowitz denied making such a statement.)
Vance defended his decision. “I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” he told us. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.”
Just before the 2012 meeting, Vance’s campaign had returned Kasowitz’s twenty-five-thousand-dollar contribution, in keeping with what Vance describes as standard practice when a donor has a case before his office. Kasowitz “had no influence, and his contributions had no influence whatsoever on my decision-making in the case,” Vance said.
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. After being asked about these donations as part of the reporting for this article—more than four years after the fact—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,” he said.
Kasowitz told us that his donations to Vance were unrelated to the case. “I donated to Cy Vance’s campaign because I was and remain extremely impressed by him as a person of impeccable integrity, as a brilliant lawyer and as a public servant with creative ideas and tremendous ability,” Kasowitz wrote in an e-mailed statement. “I have never made a contribution to anyone’s campaign, including Cy Vance’s, as a ‘quid-pro-quo’ for anything.”
Given the stakes for the justice and accountability for the current president and his family, criminal justice reform, and many, many other issues, we hope you’ll attend.