Manhattan’s next district attorney could end up prosecuting the Trump Organization. The predicted winner has experience battling Trump in court.

Former New York State Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg is expected to become the next Manhattan district attorney after his closest competitor, Tali Farhadian Weinstein, conceded the race Friday.

In the heavily Democratic borough of Manhattan, Bragg is also expected to win the November general election, which would thrust him into one of the most closely watched criminal investigations in the country: the prosecution of the Trump Organization.

In court Thursday, New York prosecutors indicted the Trump Organization and its affiliated entities, along with its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg. The 15-count criminal indictment accused the defendants of participating in a years-long scheme that allowed Weisselberg and other executives to receive “off-the-books” compensation and evade taxes.

The current Manhattan D.A., Cyrus Vance, chose not to seek reelection this year, and his successor will take over the case if the criminal inquiry is still ongoing when Vance leaves office in January.

Alvin Bragg
Alvin Bragg speaks to supporters in New York on primary election night, June 22, 2021. 

Craig Ruttle / AP


Bragg is no stranger to legal battles against the former president, who is not personally charged in the indictment. During his time with the state attorney general's office, Bragg was involved in civil lawsuits against the Trump Foundation — which accused the president and his children of using the nonprofit as a “personal checkbook” — and the now-shuttered Trump University, which claimed the school used illegal business practices and made false claims to potential students. 

In an interview last year with CBS News, Bragg said, “I want to emphasize and underscore the significance of the conduct, and my professional ability and experience doing that type of investigation.”

The Trump Foundation ultimately agreed to a settlement that required it to shut down and distribute its assets to court-approved charities. Mr. Trump was ordered by a judge to personally pay $2 million for distribution to the charities. In a separate $25 million settlement, Trump University also agreed to pay restitution to former students.

In the interview, Bragg said of the probe into the Trump Organization, “I would emphasize that I have the know-how to do it. I've handled tax fraud cases. I've had mortgage fraud cases. I handled public corruption cases, spanning from bribery to government procurement fraud.”

Vance has been pursuing the criminal investigation against the Trump Organization since 2018. The probe initially targeted hush-money payments made by former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen during the 2016 presidential campaign to adult film star Stormy Daniels, but later widened to look at possible crimes such as fraud and tax evasion.

Bragg is also poised to become Manhattan's first Black district attorney. He led the eight-person field in the Democratic primary, with Farhadian Weinstein trailing by about 3 percentage points. The official results of the June 22 election were delayed while absentee ballots were counted, but Farhadian Weinstein conceded Friday after she said the results became clear.

“Though we fought a hard race, it has become clear that we cannot overcome the vote margin,” Farhadian Weinstein wrote in a statement, adding that she had spoken with Bragg and congratulated him on his historic election. “We had important disagreements throughout the campaign, but I am confident in Alvin's commitment to justice, and I stand ready to support him,” she wrote. 

Graham Kates contributed to this report.

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