Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan prosecutor who probed Trump, joins law firm – Yahoo News

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cyrus Vance Jr, whose 12 years as Manhattan district attorney was notable for a criminal probe into Donald Trump’s business as well as high-profile sex crime cases, is joining the law firm Baker McKenzie as a partner.

Vance, 67, was named global chair of the firm’s cybersecurity practice. He will also join the firm’s North American litigation and government enforcement practice and its global compliance practice.

“Cybercrime is a huge issue” in business, Vance said in an interview. “If we work collectively to fight cybercrime, that will strengthen and provide greater protection for the community.”

A Democrat, Vance became district attorney in 2010 as the handpicked successor to Robert Morgenthau, who made that office, now with about 600 lawyers, among the country’s most powerful in law enforcement.

As crime rates fell, Vance stopped prosecuting lower-level crimes, while starting cybercrime and antiquities trafficking units and using hundreds of millions of dollars forfeited by large banks to bolster law enforcement and make streets safer.

Vance suffered a setback in 2011 by dropping charges that former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a hotel housekeeper, after the accuser’s credibility came into question.

But he successfully prosecuted Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2020, winning a conviction for sexual assault and rape and a 23-year prison sentence.

Vance also had successes from probing whether Trump and his Trump Organization fraudulently manipulated real estate values to save on loans and taxes.

He obtained eight years of the former Republican president’s tax returns, twice defeated his U.S. Supreme Court appeals, and last July brought tax fraud charges against Trump’s company and its longtime chief financial officer.

Alvin Bragg, Vance’s successor and also a Democrat, now oversees that probe.

Vance said he has not been in touch with Bragg, but before leaving office wanted to be sure his successor and the office had “everything they needed.”

He said “essential communications” began in January to join Baker McKenzie, whose annual revenue is about $3.1 billion.

“Adding a prosecutor of Cy’s stature is a huge addition,” said Scott Brandman, managing partner of the New York office.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Xiumei Dong; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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