The Manhattan grand jury investigating former President Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels “hush money” case will not hear evidence again for the rest of the week.
“The move means a potential indictment of the ex-president can’t be handed up before next week at the earliest. But the panel also isn’t expected to take up the Trump case next week, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday. The grand jury is scheduled to reconvene Thursday but the Trump case won’t be on its agenda, sources said”, it was reported by the New York Post.
“The reason for the delay wasn’t clear. Under state law, 16 of the grand jury’s 23 members need to be present for them to conduct any business, and only those who’ve heard the testimony from all key witnesses can vote on whether to hand up an indictment against Trump, 76”, the Post added.
The most recent witness to testify was David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, who appeared before the grand jury on Monday.
“Pecker was a key player in the $150,000 “catch-and-kill” payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, in which the Enquirer bought the publishing rights to her claim that she — like Daniels — had an affair with Trump before he became president. The Enquirer never reported McDougal’s allegations but its parent company, American Media Inc., featured her in other publications. Trump has denied having sex with either woman and has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the payments to them”, according to the New York Post report.
Manhattan District Attorney Bragg responded last week to a potential indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump. Alvin Bragg issued a vague statement that did not actually provide any information about what might happen next.
Bragg sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee after they sent their own letter “demanding communications, documents, and testimony relating to Bragg’s unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority and the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump”.
In his letter, the Manhattan DA said his office will “publicly state the conclusion of our investigation—whether we conduct our work without bringing charges, or move forward with an indictment”.
Bragg also addressed the letter the House Judiciary Committee previously sent to his office and said, “Your letter dated March 20, 2023, (the ‘Letter’), in contrast, is an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution. The letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for a congressional inquiry”.
The Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence in the criminal investigation into Trump has taken many turns in the last week.
The case involves Trump’s alleged role in hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, allegedly to keep Daniels quiet about an affair the two of them had in 2006.
The indictment has triggered outrage from many given federal prosecutors in the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York chose not to charge Trump in 2019 related to the payment to Stormy Daniels.
The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
The DA’s reported decision also comes as Trump is running for president in 2024, which has led to some arguing that the investigation and charges are politically motivated.
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also called for Bragg to be arrested.
“He (Bragg) should be arrested. You want to know why? We have to stop allowing Democrats to abuse us. It’s like we are a beaten spouse. We need to stand up to the abuse because they are the ones committing crimes”, Greene said at a rally for President Donald Trump, adding that Trump is “the most innocent man in the history of our country”.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan revealed that he was expanding his investigation into Bragg by sending inquiries to Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, the prosecutors who were leading the Trump investigation and had resigned last year due to their frustration with Bragg’s hesitation to pursue an indictment at that time.
“Alvin Bragg should focus on prosecuting actual criminals in New York City rather than harassing a political opponent in another state”, the House Judiciary Committee, which Jordan chairs, tweeted following details of Bragg’s response letter being reported. “Make Manhattan Safe Again!”
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