District Attorney Defends Decision Not to Prosecute Harvey Weinstein

This Prosecutor May Have Helped the Trump Siblings and Harvey Weinstein Avoid Charges

This is the fourth disclosure in a week that Vance accepted campaign donations from law firms representing clients with cases before the DA's office.

Vance - who has faced a wave of criticism recently for his 2015 decision to toss the Weinstein case and for dropping a probe into the Trump family - insisted he was guided by the law in the case and said he has no regrets.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman said that if the office could have prosecuted Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, "we would have" and that after the complaint was made in 2015, the NYPD - without their knowledge or input - arranged a controlled call and meeting between Gutierrez and Weinstein. We take on many, many many hard sex crime prosecutions, with individuals irrespective of their background or their money.

Last week, the New York Times revealed that Weinstein had paid settlements to at least eight women, often actors and former assistants, after unwanted physical contact and sexual harassment.

Vance caught flak this week over his decision not to file charges against Weinstein in 2015 over his alleged assault of Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez. Representatives of the DA's office said that was standard procedure when a donor has a case before the office.

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"Our best lawyers looked at the matter", he said following an event at John Jay College Wednesday. I, like they, were very distributed but the contents of the tape, it's obviously sickening.

A fixture of New York's legal and Democratic circles for years, Vance still has support from a fellow Democrat, Public Advocate Letitia James.

Embattled Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein was apparently given the same type of "get out of jail free" card as Hillary Clinton, the woman he spent years fundraising for. Vance later returned the contribution.

Vance told reporters Wednesday that no contribution has ever had any impact on his decision in a case.

"We really are based on facts, not what people think about it, whether people like Harvey or not", Vance said. "Prosecutors were not afforded the opportunity before the meeting to counsel investigators on what was necessary to capture in order to prove a misdemeanour sex crime", they said. While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under NY law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent. "Subsequent investigative steps undertaken in order to establish intent were not successful". Thanks to NYPD bungling, Freidman-Agnifilo concludes, their office had "no choice but to conclude the investigation without criminal charges".

Columbia's Radamel Falcao admits discussing draw with Peru's Renato Tapia
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Police defended their actions Tuesday in a statement, nothing that "experienced detectives and supervisors from NYPD's Special Victims Unit" were part of the police investigation.

The audio recording was made after Gutierrez went to the New York Police Department with a complaint about Weinstein.

Joan Vollero, communications director for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, said the office didn't consider Abramowitz's donation a conflict of interest because he didn't personally represent anyone before the DA's office at the time. In all, Boies has given $55,000 to Vance's campaigns since he first began running for office in 2008.

"Obviously he [Weinstein] has some serious issues, and the tape is awful".

"Yes", he said before promising, "I won't do it again".

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