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The Old Man and the She

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Morgenthau’s concern? “All along, he’s wanted Cy to act like a winner,” says one insider.

Vance runs his fingers through his hair and talks about how he’s just beginning to get comfortable with this process. “I have to learn how to connect with my heart, and not my head,” he says. “More like a closing argument.” Then his office door opens. A secretary bursts in. “Mr. Morgenthau is on the line,” she says.

“I don’t want people to think I’m trying to handpick my successor,” Morgenthau says back in his lair, as he deflects more questions about this race. But isn’t that exactly what he’s been doing with Vance? “I wouldn’t say in any significant way. I haven’t gone on any rallies with him.”

In his office, among the 500 or so prosecutors, there is a fear that if Snyder wins she will ax them all. (Not true, she says.) Earlier this year, prosecutors throughout the investigative division were asked to bring cases to the grand jury by September. “The primary is the date they are giving,” says one veteran, worried the cases won’t be ready. Morgenthau denies a September surprise is afoot. Assistants should wrap up cases as soon as they can. “If I had my druthers, it would be by July,” he says.

On Castleman, he uses the past tense. “I was a close friend of his,” Morgenthau says. “But the office comes first.” On his legacy, he says, “Guys like you have to decide.” This fight over his successor is partly about legacy—but when I suggest it’s about something else, something bigger, he looks offended. “I hope there are a lot of other things keeping me alive,” he says.


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