Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg warned that a forthcoming book by a former prosecutor may jeopardize the criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump and his business empire.
Leslie Dubeck, the general counsel for Bragg’s office, sent a letter to publisher Simon & Schuster on Wednesday about “People vs. Donald Trump” by Mark Pomerantz ahead of its expected release next month, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Based on the pre-publication descriptions of his book and the benefit of current knowledge of the matter, but without access to the manuscript, this office believes there is a meaningful risk that the publication will materially prejudice ongoing criminal investigations and related adjudicative proceedings,” the letter says.
Pomerantz abruptly resigned along with one other prosecutor leading the Trump inquiry in February of last year after Bragg reportedly expressed doubts about the case he inherited from his predecessor. In a resignation letter that later came to light, Pomerantz insisted Trump was “guilty of numerous felony violations.”
Trump has broadly denied any wrongdoing, but Bragg recently scored a conviction against the Trump Organization for criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records. A judge ordered the company to pay the maximum penalty of $1.6 million last week.
Pomerantz’s book offers a “fascinating inside account of the attempt to prosecute former president Donald Trump” and “tells the story of his unprecedented investigation, why he believes Donald Trump should be prosecuted, and what we can learn about the nature of justice in America from this extraordinary case,” according to a description on the publisher’s website.
News outlets reporting on Dubeck’s letter noted that it did not say Bragg’s office was seeking to block the book’s publication. But copies of the letter were sent to New York City’s Conflicts of Interest Board and the commissioner of investigation, which The Washington Post said could lead to formal reviews.
The letter says the district attorney’s “interest here is to protect the integrity of this office’s pending criminal investigations and proceedings regarding the former President,” and notes that the office is available to review the manuscript within a 60-day period.
Both Pomerantz and Simon & Schuster appear to be standing firm. “I am confident that all of my actions with respect to the Trump investigation, including the writing of my forthcoming book, are consistent with my legal and ethical obligations,” Pomerantz said in a statement.
“We stand behind Mark Pomerantz and his book, ‘People vs. Donald Trump,’ and look forward to sharing this important and timely work with readers when it is published on February 7,” the publisher said.
Bragg told CNN last week that the inquiry would move on to the “next chapter.” Prosecutors have reportedly returned a focus to a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump, during the 2016 campaign. The former president denied having a sexual encounter with the porn actress.
Trump announced in November that he is embarking on a third campaign for the White House. Trump faces a number of other investigations, which he often assails as being part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” against him. These include a civil probe into the Trump Organization headed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a 2020 election inquiry in Georgia, and criminal investigations in the Justice Department now led by special counsel Jack Smith.