Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance announced Friday he is not running for reelection, raising questions about who will be elected to take up the mantle of his office’s far-reaching criminal investigation into the former president and his company.
“I never imagined myself as District Attorney for decades like my predecessors,” Vance said in a memo announcing his decision not to run again.
“I never thought of this as my last job, even though it’s the best job and biggest honor I’ll ever have,” he added. “I said twelve years ago that change is fundamentally good and necessary for any institution.”
The formal news of Vance’s departure had been widely anticipated. The New Yorker reported Friday that Vance, who has served as Manhattan district attorney since 2010, had largely decided he would not run for reelection even before taking up Trump’s case.
“This doesn’t mean the work stops,” Vance said of his forthcoming departure in the Friday memo.
“Over the next nine months we’ll work harder than ever to support New Yorkers and their communities, and to move justice forward in court cases large and small,” he said.
People familiar with the matter told CNN that Vance is likely to decide whether to charge a case or close the investigation into Trump by the end of the year. His term will end in December 2021.
Vance told the New Yorker he had decided to keep his intentions for departure quiet until after the Supreme Court ruled on Trump’s tax records, in part due to fear that some of the anti-Trump contenders for his job might alienate the conservative Justices.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office in February finally ended its roughly 18-month battle for access to Trump’s tax returns after the Supreme Court rejected a last-ditch effort by Trump to shield them. Vance’s office last month also recruited a top white-collar crime expert, Mark Pomerantz, to play a role in its investigations into Trump for potential crimes that could include, among others, tax and bank fraud.
There is a wide pool of candidates competing in an upcoming June Democratic primary that will likely be key in determining who will succeed Vance, including, among others, public defenders, former federal prosecutors, and even veterans of the district attorney’s office.