Donald Trump Jr. and White House adviser Ivanka Trump, two of President Trump’s children, were nearly indicted in 2012 on accusations they misled potential buyers about units in the Trump SoHo, a hotel and condo development that was seeking buyers.
According to a ProPublica investigation, attorneys in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office spent two years building a case against the two Trump children, which included emails showing the Trumps knew they were using inflated figures to attract buyers to the condo.
“They knew it was wrong,” one source familiar with the emails told ProPublica investigators. Reportedly, there was “no doubt” that they “approved, knew of, agreed to, and intentionally inflated the numbers to make more sales,” the source explained.
The case against the Trump children disappeared after Trump’s attorney, Marc Kasowitz, met with the Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to reportedly ask him to drop the investigation, according to ProPublica. Kasowitz offered no new arguments and only reiterated what Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyers had said in the past.
Three months after the meeting, Vance overruled his prosecutors and dropped the case. ProPublica also reports during the same year, Kasowitz donated $25,000 to Vance’s campaign, which Vance said was returned shortly before their meeting.
“I did not at the time believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime had been committed,” Vance told ProPublica. “I had to make a call and I made the call, and I think I made the right call.”
That said, a donation of $50,000 occurred less than six months after Vance dropped the case. After being confronted with this information, Vance pledged to ProPublica to return this contribution as well.
“I don’t want the money to be a millstone around anybody’s neck, including the office’s,” Vance told ProPublica.
In a statement, Trump’s lawyer explained the donations were not “quid pro quo” for anything.
“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 told ProPublica in an email. “I have never made a contribution to anyone’s campaign, including Cy Vance’s, as a ‘quid-pro-quo’ for anything.”