"If we could have prosecuted Harvey Weinstein for the conduct that occurred in 2015, we would have," said Karen Friedman Agnifilo, chief assistant district attorney.
But criminal attorney Matthew Galluzzo, who once worked in the DA's sex crimes unit, told The Associated Press he believed the audiotape, in which Weinstein acknowledges touching Gutierrez on the breast, could have been used to pursue a case.
"She can testify about what happened, and you've got him acknowledging he did something wrong," Galluzzo said.
Before this week, questions were also being raised about Vance's handling of a fraud investigation involving the Trump SoHo, a condo hotel built by the Bayrock Group. Some early buyers of units at the hotel sued Bayrock, arguing that they had been misled about the hotel's sales records.
The Manhattan DA's office had considered pursuing fraud charges against Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr., who played a big role in promoting the hotel. An investigation by The New Yorker, WNYC and ProPublica said prosecutors wanted to pursue a criminal case, but Vance said evidence to do so was lacking.
The report also noted that Vance had received a $32,000 campaign contribution from one of Trump's lawyers shortly after dropping the case. Vance had also received an earlier donation, which he had returned.
"It was improper for him to accept it in the first place. He responded by returning those donations and then apparently accepted them again after the fact," noted Jim Cohen, a professor at Fordham University School of Law.