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The Serious Case of Cy Vance



You may have heard that Cy Vance, the Manhattan District Attorney, has been in some hot water lately. Vance was apparently involved in two, separate, controversial cases - one involving Donald Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz and the other Harvey Weinstein.

Let’s start with Trump. Last year, according to the New York Times, Donald Trump settled a real estate lawsuit which lead to a related criminal case being closed. In the case, Trump was accused of defrauding residents of his Trump SoHo building by inflating claims of brisk sales.

More specifically, the Trump children were accused of personally and knowingly misleading prospective investors to drive sales; a criminal offense which Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance decided to investigate. Eventually, the case became such a threat to the Trump family that Donald Trump called in his personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz. According to The Guardian, just before Kasowitz was scheduled to meet with Vance and his team, he donated $25,000 to Vance’s re-election campaign. Shortly thereafter the case was dropped.

In regards to Harvey Weinstein, Manhattan DA Vance was involved in a case in which the major Democratic bundler and donor was accused of the sexually assaulting a model. The New Yorker, stated Vance’s office had “collected more than enough evidence to prosecute” which includes a recorded conversation between Weinstein and his victim in which he apologizes for touching her.

Weinstein was represented by two defense attorneys with financial ties to the DA. In the end, Vance again dropped the case, rejecting the idea that his relationship with Weinstein’s attorneys had any impact on his judgement.

With Cy Vance heading towards re-election in November, there isn’t time to have someone primary him on the Democratic ticket. However an independent run is possible. As the New York Post reports former Brooklyn DA candidate Marc Fleidner, will run as a write-in. Though Fleidner’s campaign isn’t official, on social media he stated “he was all for taking on Vance.”

This is why participation in local elections and primaries is so critically important. Manhattan’s choice of DA has changed lives of countless individuals and the history of our country. Imagine a world where Harvey Weinstein was stopped by law, or in which Trump’s family had been convicted of criminal fraud. Electing leaders of integrity at every level of government is how we prevent local problems from becoming national ones.


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© 2016 Ben Yee for State Committee

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