Timeline: Key Events in the Trump Organization Investigation

The investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office into Donald J. Trump and his family real estate business began more than three years ago. Here are some key moments:

Aug. 21, 2018

Mr. Cohen, previously a personal lawyer and fixer for Mr. Trump, pleaded guilty to federal crimes and told a court that Mr. Trump directed him to arrange hush money payments to two women. The payments were made during the 2016 campaign to keep the women from speaking publicly about affairs they said they had with Mr. Trump.

Soon after Mr. Cohen’s admission, the Manhattan district attorney’s office opened an investigation to examine if the payments broke any New York State laws. The office soon paused at the request of federal prosecutors, who were still looking into the same conduct.

August 2019

After federal prosecutors said that they had “effectively concluded” their investigation, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney at the time, revived his own inquiry. Late in the month, prosecutors in his office issued a subpoena to the Trump Organization and another subpoena to Mr. Trump’s accounting firm, demanding eight years of Mr. Trump’s personal and corporate tax returns.

September 19, 2019

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Manhattan, led to a lengthy delay.

July 9, 2020

After appellate judges ruled against Mr. Trump, the lawsuit found its way to the Supreme Court, where the justices ruled that the presidency did not shield Mr. Trump from criminal inquiries and that he had no absolute right to block the release of his tax returns.

The ruling left Mr. Trump with the opportunity to raise different objections to Mr. Vance’s subpoena. Raise them he did.

Aug. 3, 2020

A court filing from the district attorney’s office suggested that it had been investigating Mr. Trump and his business for possible bank and insurance fraud — a far broader scope than just the hush money payments.

The filing cited a newspaper report that the president might have illegally inflated the value of his properties.

About a month later, Mr. Trump tried a new approach to fight the subpoena for his tax returns, arguing in court that the request was politically motivated and represented an “unlawful fishing expedition.”

AUTUMN 2020

Prosecutors interviewed employees of the main bank and insurance company that serve Mr. Trump and issued several new subpoenas.

Feb. 22, 2021

The brief unsigned order was a decisive defeat for Mr. Trump and a turning point in Mr. Vance’s investigation.

Just hours later, eight years of financial records were handed over to Mr. Vance’s office.

March 1, 2021

In the spring, Mr. Vance’s prosecutors set their sights on Allen H. Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s long-serving chief financial officer, whom they hoped to pressure into cooperating with their investigation.

The prosecutors were particularly interested in whether the Trump Organization handed out valuable benefits to Mr. Weisselberg as a form of untaxed compensation.

July 1, 2021

When Mr. Weisselberg refused to turn on his boss, prosecutors announced charges against him and Mr. Trump’s company, saying that the company helped its executives evade taxes by compensating them with benefits such as free cars and apartments that were hidden from the authorities.

Fall 2021

Investigators issued new subpoenas for information about Mr. Trump’s properties and signaled that they had returned to the focus on the former president’s statements about the value of his properties.

By December, Mr. Vance authorized his prosecutors to begin presenting evidence about Mr. Trump to a grand jury, a process that would have been likely to culminate in an indictment of the former president.

JAN. 1, 2022

Mr. Vance left office, and his successor, Alvin L. Bragg, took over the case.

Mr. Bragg, a former federal prosecutor, retained two of the investigation’s leaders, Mark F. Pomerantz, an experienced former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense lawyer, and Carey Dunne, Mr. Vance’s general counsel.

Feb. 23, 2022

After Mr. Bragg expressed reservations about the case, Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Dunne suspended the presentation of evidence about Mr. Trump to a grand jury. A month later, they resigned, prompting a public uproar over Mr. Bragg’s decision not to proceed with an indictment.

In his resignation letter, which was later obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Pomerantz said that Mr. Trump had been guilty of numerous felonies.

April 29, 2022

The grand jury that had been hearing evidence about Mr. Trump expired towards the end of April. Although Mr. Bragg’s investigation continued, signs emerged that the former president would not be charged in Manhattan in the foreseeable future.

Aug. 18, 2022

Although the chief financial officer declined to turn on Mr. Trump himself, he agreed to testify at the October trial against the company that he served for nearly half a century.

October 24, 2022

Lawyers for the district attorney’s office and the Trump Organization gathered in a Manhattan courtroom to begin interviewing jurors.

Leave a Comment