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Campaign contributions from Trump lawyer followed DA's decision to drop investigation of Trump children

Marc Kasowitz, pictured in 2005. (Getty Images)
Marc Kasowitz, pictured in 2005. (Getty Images)

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.

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