The Daily Beast

The Obscure Law NY Prosecutors Could Use to Charge Trump Years From Now

Photo Illustration by Thomas Levinson/The Daily Beast/Getty

The Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into former President Donald Trump seems doomed, but a little-known New York law is buying time for prosecutors to build a better case against him and convince the hesitant new DA to act—or wait until he’s replaced.

Law enforcement in New York has five years from the date of an alleged crime to officially file charges for most felonies, but under New York law § 30.10(4)(a)(i), that clock stops for up to five more years when a defendant is outside the state. That 10-year grace period means Trump’s time in the White House and his post-presidential political exile at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida may be gifting prosecutors much-needed extra time.

According to sources familiar with the investigation, prosecutors there have been poring over thousands of spreadsheets and financial records from the Trump Organization and slowly building a case against Trump for allegedly inflating property values, lying on business forms, dodging taxes, duping banks, and running his company like a mob.

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