Former Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who led the legal battle against former President Donald Trump, was not always an adversary of the former president. Trump recently shared a letter and an email from Vance on his social media platform, Truth Social, to highlight their previous positive interactions. In the letter, dated November 9, 2016, Vance congratulated Trump on his victory and expressed his willingness to support law enforcement and criminal justice initiatives. The email, sent in June 2017 after the shooting of GOP Representative Steve Scalise, conveyed Vance’s birthday wishes to Trump and offered support during difficult times. While some might dismiss these communications as routine courtesies, it is interesting to note the previous cordiality between Vance and Trump.
— Steve Wilson (@Wilsonstevenlee) December 20, 2023
Vance, who declined to run for another term as Manhattan DA in 2021, was succeeded by Alvin Bragg, who made headlines by becoming the first prosecutor to file charges against a former president. In an interview with NPR, Vance viewed Bragg’s indictment of Trump as an extraordinary event but urged everyone to let the legal process run its course. Towards the end of Vance’s tenure, it was apparent that Trump had become his “white whale,” as he continued his investigation into the former president even after leaving office. Vance’s battle with Trump went all the way to the Supreme Court, with his office ultimately winning every round. Ultimately, Vance’s pursuit of Trump did not yield the desired results, as Bragg dropped the case and focused on other charges.
What is notable about Vance’s previous praise for Trump is that it came from an elite member of the establishment who sought to appease the media and the Democratic base. It is interesting to see how private sentiments can differ from public statements, especially when it comes to dealings with a polarizing figure like Trump.