Summary List Placement
Donald Trump is no longer president and, as such, he no longer enjoys the unique legal shields that the office provides him.
But Trump’s legal issues aren’t just at the federal level. Even if President Joe Biden’s Justice Department backs off, he will have New York’s top prosecutors to worry about.
The now-former president has publicly acknowledged he’s worried about this scenario. Trump was long said to mull issuing pardons that would shield himself and his family members from federal prosecution. In the end, he declined to use this power this way, but even if he had, it wouldn’t have mattered for some of the most serious investigations underway.
Even before he left the White House, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had active ongoing investigations into Trump’s personal finances and the Trump Organization’s finances. James’s office announced Tuesday that the teams were joining forces and that her office turned the investigation into a criminal probe.
They have already notched some wins. Vance won a Supreme Court ruling that confirmed he could obtain Trump’s tax returns and other financial documents. James secured a settlement that forced Trump and his children to pay $2 million for breaking charity laws. Some of the members of that team have moved on to another probe into Trump’s tax filings and forced Eric Trump, who oversees the Trump organization, to sit for a deposition.
While Trump attacked members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Twitter as “13 angry Democrats” (Mueller is a Republican), he no longer has an account after Twitter suspended him for inciting violence after egging on rioters on January 6. Vance and James’ staffers are considerably more obscure than the likes of Andrew Weissmann, the Mueller deputy who took down mob bosses and Enron, or Peter Strzok, who led the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.
Some of the members of the New York prosecutorial teams, like Carey Dunne, have long track records but generated little controversy. Trump would also have trouble interfering in the investigations. James, a Democrat, is at little risk of losing reelection in a deep-blue state in 2022. And Vance plans to retire at the end of the year.
We’ve looked through court documents to figure out which lawyers James and Vance have put on the case. Here are the New York prosecutors Trump should be worried about.
Cyrus Vance Jr.
The Manhattan District Attorney is one of Trump’s most powerful foes — but he’s also in a precarious position.
Vance Jr., the son of Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, has been the DA since 2010. But in the #MeToo era, some of his office’s earlier actions have come under scrutiny. It bungled an investigation into rape accusations against Harvey Weinstein and Robert Hadden, argued for a lower sex offender status for Jeffrey Epstein, and reportedly backed off a criminal investigation into Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. after their lawyer donated to Vance’s reelection campaign.
Vance still handily won reelection in 2017, running as a Democrat in Manhattan. Stories about his office’s earlier work broke too late for other candidates to run against him in the primary.
Since The New York Times and the New Yorker brought Vance’s handling of the Weinstein case under scrutiny, he’s changed tactics. His office brought rape charges against Weinstein and secured a 23-year conviction.
He has also gone to greater lengths than any other prosecutor in investigating Trump. His office has won a battle Trump took to the Supreme Court to obtain his and his company’s tax records, pursuing a wide-ranging grand jury investigation into possible financial fraud and tax fraud from Trump himself and his businesses.
Vance has announced he’s retiring at the end of 2021. He’s widely expected to bring his investigation to some sort of conclusion before he leaves office.
Dunne, the General Counsel of the Manhattan DA office, served as the chief lawyer of the team that took his office’s investigation into Trump’s finances to the US Supreme Court. And he’s heading up other legal battles in federal court as Trump’s lawyers try to challenge the investigation on other grounds.
During the court battles over subpoenaing Trump’s tax returns, Dunne fought vigorously against the president’s attempts to drag out the legal wrangling for as long as possible.
“No legal basis exists for the extraordinary relief that Applicant requests — or remotely justifies the further delay it entails,” Dunne wrote in a filing asking the Supreme Court to deny Trump’s attempts to hide his tax return.
He has deep ties to New York City’s legal world and may remain in his role even if Vance loses reelection in 2021. He was president of the New York City Bar Association from 2012 to 2014 and has held various other roles in New York judicial commissions for decades.
Conroy, one of the top officials in the Manhattan DA office, serves with Dunne on the team looking into Trump’s tax returns. He’s one of Vance’s top deputies and runs the Manhattan DA’s investigations division. He also oversaw a two-year Manhattan DA mortgage fraud case into Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman sentenced to more than 7 years in federal prison for various crimes stemming from the Mueller investigation.
He specializes in investigating economic crimes and oversees the department’s Counterterrorism program, cybercrime and identity theft, financial fraud, public corruption, and asset forfeiture, according to the Manhattan DA website.
Julieta V. Lozano
Lozano has run the Major Economic Crimes Bureau and Financial Intelligence Unit at the Manhattan DA office, handling complex financial criminal investigations, according to an online bio.
She may play a key role in coordinating between the Manhattan DA office and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who reportedly have several of their own investigations into Trump’s finances but their work could be complicated by the president’s pardon powers.
Lozano also serves as a special assistant to federal prosecutors at SDNY and has been involved in several financial crime prosecutions that involved both the local and federal offices. She also spent seven years at the New York State Attorney General’s office before joining the Manhattan DA’s office in 2010.
Shinerock investigates major economic crimes for the Manhattan DA office. According to the New York Law Journal, Shinerock spelled out the nature of the grand jury investigation into Trump’s finances, which enabled the office to secure a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns.
Trump’s lawyers singled out Shinerock in a failed countersuit filed in 2019 against Vance.
He’s handled other high-profile fraud cases, including a money-laundering investigation into the former owners of Newsweek.
Shinerock worked as a US Attorney in Albany from 2015 to 2017 before joining the Manhattan DA office.
James H. Graham
Graham is one of the lower-profile members of Vance’s team looking into Trump’s finances. He also participated in the DA’s Manafort investigation.
Graham joined the Manhattan DA office in January 2017, the same month of Trump’s presidential inauguration, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, he worked for five years as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton. The large law firm is home to Michael Mukasey, the George W. Bush-era Attorney General whose son Marc is a lawyer for the Trump family business.
Walsh is another member of the team who litigated the Trump tax return case to the US Supreme Court. She’s worked at the Manhattan DA’s major economic crimes bureau since April 2019, according to her LinkedIn, and the office’s trial bureau for six years before that.
According to a 2015 interview with Walsh on the Brooklyn Law School website, she also interned for the major economic crimes bureau while in law school.
Allen J. Vickey
Vickey is another member of Vance’s team with a low profile. He’s a career employee at the Manhattan DA office who worked on the legal team bringing their subpoena of Trump’s tax returns to the Supreme Court. He’s pursued numerous criminal embezzlement cases, according to press releases on the Manhattan DA website.
New York Attorney General Letitia “Tish” James is one of the most persistent thorns in the president’s side.
Under her watch, the state of New York has sued the administration dozens of times for everything from Trump’s attempts to rescind DACA to his attempt to roll back lightbulb energy efficiency standards. Her office has even compiled a list of administrative actions for President-elect Joe Biden to undo.
She took over the office in 2019, winning the 2018 election to succeed Barbara Underwood, who was appointed to the role of New York AG after Eric Schneiderman resigned amid physical assault accusations.
James’ office is also investigating Trump and the Trump organization’s financial dealings. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, triggered the probe when he delivered Congressional testimony in February 2019 claiming Trump kept different sets of books for obtaining loans, obtaining insurance coverage, and paying taxes.
In May, James’s office announced that her office’s investigation was investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity and that it would work with the Manhattan DA’s office.
The New York Times additionally reported that two assistant attorneys general from her team would join the Manhattan DA’s team for the investigation. Both the New York AG’s office and Manhattan DA’s office declined to identify those two attorneys.
Fishman is one of the key members of James’s team working on the Trump investigation. Along with Colleen Faherty, he’s interviewed Jennifer Weisselberg, a key cooperating witness, and has pored over Trump Organization-related documents she’s supplied to prosecutors.
A graduate of St. John’s University law school, Fishman served as an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office between 1995 and 2011, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In 2012, he joined the New York State Attorney General’s office and became the head of its Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, a role that oversees large-scale financial crimes, in 2014.
Colleen K. Faherty
Faherty is one of the assistant attorneys general working under James as her office puts Trump and his family under scrutiny.
She graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2014 and spent nearly two and a half years as an attorney for the New York-based defense firm Fischetti & Malgieri LLP.
In addition to her work for the AG’s office, Faherty is the vice president of the Sonia and Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program, which was founded by the Supreme Court associate justice to help students from underprivileged backgrounds win legal internships around New York.
Along with Fishman, Faherty has interviewed Jennifer Weisselberg as part of the investigation.
Finkelstein graduated from Columbia Law School in 2017 and has spent more than three years in the New York attorney general’s office.
The project attorney has worked on the state’s successful legal battle against the Trump administration’s attempts to exclude undocumented people from the 2020 census count.
Haren joined the New York Attorney General’s office at the start of Trump’s term, as then-AG Eric Schneiderman prepared to ramp up investigations into the new president.
He had been the chief counsel for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Haren graduated from Harvard Law School in 2006.
Solomon is the chief of enforcement at the Attorney General’s office and is part of the team investigating the Trump Organization.
Wallace joined the AG’s office in 2018 as the head of its Investor Protection Bureau, according to his LinkedIn. Prior to that, he spent nearly two decades in private law firms handling complex financial affairs.
Thompson is an assistant attorney general and a member of James’ team investigating the Trump Organization’s financial dealings.
He spent seven years at the international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP before joining the NYAG’s office in 2017, as the office was ramping up its early investigations into Trump.
Matthew Colangelo recently left the office
Colangelo withdrew from the case in January, according to court filings reviewed by Insider. He was one of the AG office’s top litigators and had overseen the litigation in trying to get the Trump Organization to comply with subpoenas.
He also headed up the state’s legal team trying to secure the Affordable Care Act in federal court. Prior to joining the NYAG’s office, he taught at Georgetown University Law Center, held various roles in the Obama administration including at the White House and Justice Department, directed the Economic Justice Group at the NAACP, and clerked for Justice Sonia Sotomayor while she was a federal appeals court judge.
Colangelo was also a member of the team that took down the Trump Foundation, exposing how Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump used charity funds for personal and political gain.