Federal prosecutors investigated whether de Blasio gave special treatment to a Satmar Hasidic landlord in exchange for campaign support. "We're the number one terror target in this country, and President Trump is proposing to take away $190 million", de Blasio said.
Bill de Blasio addressed the media Thursday just hours after federal officials and the Manhattan District Attorney's office announced that the mayor will not face corruption charges.
The prosecutor added that this kind of announcement was rare, but "appropriate in this case at this time" so that the mayoral campaign and November election would not be unduly influenced.
The Manhattan DA probe began more than a year ago, on January 12, 2016, on a tip from the New York State Board of Elections chief enforcement office, which believed the mayor had skirted campaign fundraising law while trying to tip the state Senate toward a Democratic majority in the 2014 races.
"I've said consistently we acted appropriately, we acted ethically, we acted lawfully", de Blasio said. But he said it did not appear to be "a provable violation" of the law.
At a news conference, de Blasio said he disagreed with some characterizations in the prosecutors' statements.
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"After an extensive investigation. this office has determined that the parties involved can not be appropriately prosecuted, given their reliance on the advice of counsel", Vance wrote in his letter to the elections board. But Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said while a criminal prosecution was not warranted, the mayor's efforts to aid other Democratic candidates appeared to violate the "intent and spirit" of state campaign finance laws.
De Blasio was quick to try to put the case behind him.
In February, de Blasio's press secretary said federal prosecutors had interviewed the mayor as part of an ongoing investigation.
Kim's statement ending the investigation confirmed that de Blasio and his aides solicited donations for his 2013 election campaign and to advocate for mayoral policies from people who sought and received favorable city actions. He also said the relevant election law statutes were ambiguous, making enforcement a challenge, and made three recommendations to the BOE and the state Legislature to prevent similar misconduct in the future. The money then flowed from the committees to individual candidates, often within days.
Joon H. Kim, the acting US attorney for the Southern District of NY, made his announcement in a short press release on his office's website.