The grand jury in charge of studying in the Manhattan Criminal Court the charges against former president Donald Trump in relation to the investigation of the Manhattan district attorney into an alleged payment in 2016 to the porn actress Stormy Daniels, resumed its sessions this Monday without know when they are going to vote.
The grand jury has been meeting for the past few weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and has studied the evidence presented by the Prosecutor’s Office since mid-January about the former president and current candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential primaries for his alleged participation in the payment to Daniels.
However, neither Wednesday nor Thursday of last week did the 23 members of the grand jury meet and the last time they studied the case was Monday the 20th, when the grand jury heard the testimony of Robert Costello, who was legal counsel for the Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.RELATED
According to The New York Times, the grand jury could still hear testimony from at least one more witness before being asked to vote.
This Daniels payoff case, the most immediate of several encircling Trump, has spanned nearly five years and centers on a $130,000 payment to Daniels – allegedly in exchange for his silence about a 2006 sexual relationship – during the campaign election that ended up taking him to the White House in 2017.
Cohen admitted to paying this amount to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, just before voting day.
Trump, who denies having sex with Daniels, later reimbursed Cohen for the payment, which the Trump Organization said was for legal fees.
That is why federal prosecutors have characterized the payment as an illegal campaign expense related to the election that gave him the presidency.
This grand jury must consider whether there is reasonable cause to retain a criminal defendant for trial or not the former president, and if Trump is indicted he will become the first former US president to face a criminal charge.
Until now, officials have kept quiet about any news about the grand jury at Manhattan Criminal Court, whose proceedings are taking place out of public view.
However, since Trump predicted on Saturday the 18th on his network, Truth Social, that he would be arrested three days later – which did not happen – the venue is surrounded by journalists who work for national and international media.
Since that day, small groups of Trump supporters and anti-Trump supporters have appeared outside the court to express their positions, without much of a stir than that created among journalists.
For his part, the former president, who is believed to be at Mar-a-Lago, his residence in Palm Beach, Florida, insists on his innocence.
“They have nothing (against me)!”, Trump exclaimed on Saturday before the crowd gathered at a rally in Waco (Texas), where he presented himself as a victim of Justice and attacked the lawyers who are handling his case in the Prosecutor’s Office of the District of Manhattan, whom he insulted and called “scum”.
He assured without evidence that the office of the Manhattan district attorney, the Democrat Alvin Bragg, is prevaricating and acting under the direction of the country’s Department of “Injustice” to try to charge him with something, according to him, that does not constitute a crime.
In the past week, Bragg’s office received hundreds of threats, including an envelope containing nonhazardous white powder and a letter promising to kill the prosecutor.