Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington:
- After the attack in New York that killed 8, Trump calls for merit-based immigration
- Trump spokeswoman dismisses Russia-related indictments: "Nothing to do with" the president
- Special counsel's inquiry yields first guilty plea, from former Trump aide who lied to the FBI
- Paul Manafort and another Trump campaign aide indicted; Manafort's bond is $10 million
New York Dist. Atty. Cyrus Vance Jr. received $50,000 in campaign contributions from President Trump's lawyer and the attorney's associates and friends shortly after Vance's office dropped a fraud investigation against Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump.
Trump's two eldest children were under investigation by the district attorney's office in 2012 for allegedly misleading investors in a hotel and condominium project in New York's Soho neighborhood, according to an investigation published Wednesday by ProPublica, WNYC and the New Yorker.
After a two-year investigation, the DA instructed his underlings to drop the case. Months later, Marc Kasowitz, Trump's personal lawyer, donated $32,000, while another $18,000 was raised from lawyers at his firm and through a fundraising breakfast he hosted, according to the report.
Vance, who is again up for reelection, last week returned the $32,000 to Kasowitz, according to a statement from campaign spokesman Steve Sigmund.
"Contributions have never influenced Cy Vance's work and [they] never will. Every contribution is vetted through a rigorous process, accepted when appropriate, and returned when flagged," said the spokesman. Separately, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said that the criminal inquiry was dropped after the investors of the property in question settled their civil litigation against the Trumps.
"This was a two-year investigation that never produced sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution,'' said the spokeswoman, Joan Vollero.
Kasowitz could not immediately be reached for comment. The $1,500-an-hour New York lawyer has represented Donald Trump for at least 15 years, handling cases involving bankruptcy, divorce and sexual harassment.