Michael Colangelo Joined Manhattan DA's Office Just Three Days Before Trump Announced Presidential Bid

 June 12, 2024

Last November saw high-level shifts within the Department of Justice, culminating in a pivotal move by the DOJ's third in command to the Manhattan District Attorney's investigative team targeting Donald Trump.

Breitbart reported that Colangelo, who was acting as the Associate Attorney General, resigned from his position at the Department of Justice on November 18, 2022. This resignation coincided with several pivotal actions related to ongoing investigations into former President Donald Trump's affairs.

Colangelo had decided to move his expertise to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an assistant prosecutor under Alvin Bragg, who was leading multiple inquiries against Trump.

The same day Colangelo made his announcement, the Department of Justice was undergoing other significant events.

Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed special counsel Jack Smith to oversee the federal investigations into Trump. Furthermore, there were notable meetings at the White House involving Nathan Wade, though details of these discussions were not disclosed.

Manhattan DA's Shifting Strategy with Colangelo's Arrival

Before Colangelo arrived at the Manhattan DA's office, there had been reports of a slowdown in the investigations concerning Trump, managed by DA Alvin Bragg. Earlier that year, in February, a resignation from Mark Pomerantz, a high-ranking figure in Bragg's team, underscored the prosecutorial frustrations due to a perceived lack of progress.

However, with Colangelo joining the team, there was a notable resurgence in the vigor of the investigations.

This renewed effort led to Donald Trump being charged in April 2023, with a resultant trial swiftly concluding in May with Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts. Trump has since appealed the conviction, arguing against its basis and implications.

These developments occurred after Joe Biden’s explicit comments on November 9, alluding to intentions of countering Trump's potential 2024 presidential candidacy through non-electoral means. Trump announced his run for the presidency on November 15, framing the ongoing legal actions as politically motivated.

The reshuffling at the DOJ and the consequent legal battles against Trump ignited a storm of media coverage and Congressional scrutiny.

The allegations of politically charged motivations behind these legal actions received a broad spectrum of reactions. In Congress, rigorous oversight hearings began taking place, peaking with a DOJ oversight hearing on June 4, focused specifically on the prosecutorial actions related to Trump.

Amidst these inquiries, Attorney General Garland fervently refuted any allegations that he directed Colangelo’s transition to Manhattan, emphasizing in an op-ed and during a Congressional hearing that Colangelo’s move was a personal career choice not orchestrated by the DOJ.

The controversy around these legal skirmishes was further fueled by comments from public figures. Donald Trump Jr., for instance, pointed out the puzzling concurrence of Garland's appointment of Jack Smith and significant meetings at the White House on the very day of Colangelo's DOJ departure.

Wider Implications of DOJ’s Recent Shifts

Former U.S. Ambassador and Chairperson of the Conservative Action Project, Ken Blackwell, expressed grave concerns over these events, arguing they could irrevocably alter the governance landscape of the United States if perceived as a successful tactic by one political faction against another.

Additionally, legal expert Will Scharf described Colangelo's job shift metaphorically as akin to a high-ranking military officer enrolling as a private in another context, highlighting the extraordinary nature of the move.

Despite the legal turmoil, the public response seemed to bolster Trump's potential candidacy. Following his conviction, there was a notable surge in campaign donations for Trump, who continues to lead in polls indicating strong support for his 2024 presidential ambitions. This is within the context of ongoing challenges surrounding other legal figures such as special counsel Jack Smith and the Fulton County prosecution led by Fani Willis.

In conclusion, the past year has witnessed substantial legal and political shifts involving high-ranking Justice Department officials and significant investigations targeting a former president. These events have raised critical debates about the nature of political accountability, the boundaries of legal actions, and their broader implications for U.S. governance and democratic norms.

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