“People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account” hit bookshelves Tuesday with a slew of never-before-revealed details about the battle to hold the former president accountable for a string of alleged crimes.
Mark Pomerantz, the former federal prosecutor who led the Manhattan district attorney office’s investigation into Trump, wrote the tell-all and revealed the dramatic inside story of why his last boss, District Attorney Alvin Bragg, decided not to pull the trigger.
Pomerantz says Trump’s alleged crimes — from systematically inflating property values to paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels — amount to a decadeslong pattern of corruption comparable to that of a Mafia family.
Bragg, who inherited the case from former District Attorney Cy Vance Jr., allegedly decided the case was not ironclad enough to bring before a jury.
—What did prosecutors uncover about Trump?
Manhattan prosecutors are investigating an array of fraud, tax and other potential crimes committed by Trump and his eponymous real estate company.
The most damning evidence involved the Trump Organization’s alleged policy of routinely inflating the value of assets such as golf clubs, resorts and other real estate, with the goal of tricking banks into lending it more money.
“His empire was built on lies,” Pomerantz wrote.
Pomerantz, who joined the district attorney’s office in 2021 to lead the Trump probe, writes that prosecutors weighed charging Trump and his company under the state’s version of the federal racketeering law.
The case would have portrayed Trump and the Trump Organization as a sprawling criminal enterprise, doing whatever it took to make money and protect the future president. That included Trump University, Trump using his charity as a piggy bank for himself and pals, allegedly breaking real estate accounting rules and paying hush money to Daniels.
“We developed evidence convincing us that Donald Trump had committed serious crimes,” Pomerantz writes.
Pomerantz said he thought they owed it the public to bring the case to trial, whatever the outcome.
“Losing it would be better than not even trying,” he wrote.
—Like John Gotti with orange hair
A veteran prosecutor, Pomerantz has targeted plenty of big-time crooks.
But he says there’s only who compares with Trump in the breadth and intensity of his alleged criminality.
That would be John Gotti.. Pomerantz successfully prosecuted Gotti’s son John A. “Junior” Gotti.
“(Trump) demanded absolute loyalty and would go after anyone who crossed him. He seemed always to stay one step ahead of the law,” Pomerantz wrote. “I had encountered only one other person who touched all of these bases: John Gotti, the head of the Gambino organized crime family.”
—What does Trump say about the book?
The former president trashed Pomerantz as “radically deranged” on his social media site after watching his appearance on “60 Minutes.”
Trump said all the actions described by Pomerantz were totally on the up-and-up and in any case he was only following the advice of his lawyers.
It also put Trump in the unlikely position of defending Bragg’s decision not to prosecute him on the charges Pomerantz wanted, praising the progressive Democrat for acting “rightfully.”
—What does all this have to do with Trump being president?
Surprisingly little. All of the alleged questionable deeds Pomerantz investigated took place before Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
The one issue that involved his campaign was the hush money payments to Daniels and a Playboy model that were designed to keep the women from going public with their claims of affairs with Trump in the days before the vote.
—Why did Bragg balk at indicting Trump?
Bragg, who ran as a progressive with a lengthy legal résumé, took over the reins of the Manhattan DA’s office in early 2022 and decided to reassess the case against Trump.
Pomerantz told him the odds of convicting Trump were better than 2 out of 3. For Bragg, that wasn’t good enough.
“More work was needed,” Bragg said.
Pomerantz angrily quit, whipping off a scathing letter that accused Bragg of losing his nerve as many others had done when faced with Trump’s pattern of wrongdoing.
Bragg continued the prosecution of the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, a case that led to Weisselberg’s conviction and imprisonment for six months. The company was fined $1.6 million.
—Why is the Stormy Daniels case back?
As Pomerantz’s book hits shelves, Bragg has started presenting evidence to a grand jury about the Daniels hush money case.
Trump’s ex-fixer Michael Cohen says Trump had him make the illicit payments, and he has receipts in the form of checks signed by the former president to reimburse him, including one from when Trump was already installed in the White House.
Pomerantz insists even a conviction would still be a letdown, given the other alleged crimes for which he thinks Trump evaded punishment.
“(It) would be a very peculiar and unsatisfying end to this whole saga,” he writes.