Trump’s move to Mar-a-Lago handed New York prosecutors a huge gift: report

Trump’s move to Mar-a-Lago handed New York prosecutors a huge gift: report
President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are greeted by guests as they arrive to the New Year’s Eve celebration Tuesday evening, Dec. 31, 2019, at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)

According to a report from the Daily Beast's Asawin Suebsaeng and Jose Pagliery, Donald Trump's decision to change his residency from Manhattan to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida likely handed New York prosecutors extra time to continue their multiple investigations into his business dealings.

As the report notes, under normal circumstances, investigators and prosecutors in New York have five years in which to bring charges once an investigation is opened. However, the Beast is reporting that an obscure law can be used to double that time.

With the former president attempting to run out the clock with a flood of legal challenges and maneuvers, prosecutors have been working against the clock to make the case for a criminal indictment or indictments.

According to the report, "Law enforcement in New York has five years from the date of an alleged crime to officially file charges for most felonies, but under New York law § 30.10(4)(a)(i), that clock stops for up to five more years when a defendant is outside the state," adding, "That 10-year grace period means Trump’s time in the White House and his post-presidential political exile at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida may be gifting prosecutors much-needed extra time."

The Beast is reporting investigators are deep into "poring over thousands of spreadsheets and financial records from the Trump Organization and slowly building a case against Trump for allegedly inflating property values, lying on business forms, dodging taxes, duping banks," before adding that sources have hinted that a "team of Manhattan assistant district attorneys has considered the use of the state’s clock-stopping measure in the Trump investigation."

According to former Manhattan prosecutor Adam Kaufmann, he doesn't remember a case where the law was applied.

“You don’t often have white collar cases that are so… old. It just doesn’t happen that much that you’re trying to get something from more than five years ago,” he explained before adding, "It’s easy to prove he was not in the state of New York. There’s going to be records of where he was physically located every day for four years.”

According to the report, aides close to the former president were stunned when they were informed about the law, with several asking, "How is that legal?"

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