The principal of a law firm involved in fending off a criminal investigation into a Trump Organization project gave $10,000 to Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance amid the probe, according to campaign finance records reviewed by International Business Times. The money from Elkan Abramowitz, which had not previously been reported, was in addition to a separate campaign donation to Vance from Trump attorney Mark Kasowitz. After the money flowed to Vance, the Democratic DA overruled his prosecutors and declined to file charges against Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and others involved in the controversial Trump SoHo project.

The disclosures are the fourth in a week showing that Vance received campaign donations from law firms whose clients had potential cases before his office. IBT previously reported that Vance declined to prosecute Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and received $182,000 from partners at the law firm of Weinstein’s long-time attorney. IBT also reported that Vance received more than $42,000 from lawyers at a criminal defense firm whose clients received plea deals from Vance’s office that let them avoid prison, including another high profile sexual assault case.

Scrutiny of Vance’s campaign was first kicked off by a report by ProPublica, WNYC and The New Yorker, which revealed that Vance declined to file charges against the Trump Organization over its SoHo project after Vance received a $25,000 donation from Trump attorney Mark Kasowitz. The story noted that Vance’s former employer, Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, was one of the firms involved on the defense side of the potential case, which revolved around allegations that investors were misled about the project and its finances.

The allegations were investigated by Vance’s office from 2010 to 2012. A further IBT review of Vance’s campaign finance found that on March 24, 2011 — between the opening of the investigation and the closing of the investigation — Abramowitz gave $10,000 to Vance’s campaign, which was the single largest Abramowitz donation disclosed in state records. In all, Abramowitz has donated more than $26,450 to Vance’s campaigns since 2008 -- making Vance the largest recipient of Abramowitz donations, according to state records. 

Abramowitz is a power player in New York politics; he recently served as a criminal defense attorney for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a federal corruption probe launched by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Vance returned Kasowitz’s donation —  and the ProPublica report said Vance asserts that is “standard practice when a donor has a case before his office.” Vance’s office has also previously told IBT that all contributions are vetted for potential conflicts of interest.

However, there is no record that shows Vance returned Abramowitz’s $10,000 contribution that came during the DA’s investigation into the Trump Organization — despite Abramowitz’s firm being involved with the defense team. According to the DA’s office, Paul Grand, a principal of Morvillo Abramowitz, represented Rodrigo Nino, the CEO of Prodigy Network, which was the selling agent for the Trump SoHo units.

“Kasowitz's initial contribution was returned to avoid the appearance of conflict as DA Vance said [to WNYC], not because there was a conflict,” Joan Vollero, communications direct for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, told IBT over email. “If there had been a conflict with the other donation you listed [Abramowitz’s], it would have been flagged and returned in the same way. This multi-step vetting process is more rigorous than what is required, and consistent with other prosecutor's offices.”

Paul Grand and Morvillo Abramowitz did not respond to a request for comment from IBT.

Vollero explained that the office did not consider Abramowitz's donation a conflict of interest because he did not personally represent any clients before the DA's office at the time. She told IBT over email that the DA's campaign finance vetting committee does not consider a contribution from the principal of a firm that has a client under investigation by the DA's office to constitute a conflict.

The New York Times has reported that Paul Grand -- the Morvillo Abramowitz lawyer who worked on the Trump defense team -- did not meet directly with Vance about the case.