Campaign fundraising “pay-to-play” suspicions sparked an investigation in April into New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his team, but acting US Attorney Joon Kim announced on Thursday that neither the mayor nor anyone from his team will be criminally charged.
Manhattan district attorney, Cy Vance Jr. also announced that he will not prosecute anyone in the de Blasio camp, “even though they violated the ‘spirit’ of the election law,” according to a report in the New York Post.
He further claimed that “the money de Blasio and his aides had raised for the Senate was ‘intended to evade campaign finance limits,’ but because they relied on advice from their election lawyer, this was reason enough not to prosecute.”
Explaining the reasons why they chose not to bring federal criminal charges against the mayor or those acting on his behalf, Kim explained, “In considering whether to charge individuals with serious public corruption crimes, we take into account, among other things, the high burden of proof, the clarity of existing law, any recent changes in the law, and the particular difficulty in proving criminal intent in corruption schemes where there is no evidence of personal profit.”
“I’ll just say simply from the beginning … I’ve said consistently that we acted appropriately, we acted ethically, we acted lawfully. I think this confirms what I’ve been saying,” de Blasio said after the decision went in his favor.
Political consultant George Arzt predicts that de Blasio will now emerge victorious in the Democratic primary for mayor, which will take place in September. “All his rivals were waiting for something to happen — and nothing happened,” he told reporters, noting, “At this point, it looks like he has clear sailing toward a second term.”
Related News: Investigation of NYC Mayor Has Staff Nervous
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