Another witness testifying before Manhattan grand jury ahead of potential Trump indictment, report says
Another witness remains on the list of those to testify before the grand jury investigation into Donald Trump’s hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels concludes, according to an Insider report published on Sunday.
The news throws into doubt the former president’s prediction that he will be indicted on Tuesday, though such an act could still occur some time in the coming week.
The identity of the district attorney’s latest witness is not known, but Insider reports that one souce close to the investigation expects them to testify on Monday afternoon. CNN first reported on the additional witness interview, with the network noting that it’s unclear whether this will be the final witness to testify before the panel.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg empaneled the grand jury back in January to investigate a $130,000 payment made to Ms Daniels by Mr Trump’s then-fixer Michael Cohen in 2016, weeks before the presidential election.
Mr Trump himself was invited but declined to speak to the grand jury this month; The New York Times reported last week that sources close to the probe believe that action was taken because an indictment is near.
Multiple news reports have indicated that the former president could face criminal charges for the falsification of business records allegedly done as part of the hush payment scheme. Mr Trump has denied the allegations of an affair with Ms Daniels, but now has admitted to reimbursing his lawyer after he paid Ms Daniels to suppress those claims.
He angrily took to his Truth Social platform early Saturday morning and wrote that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday; that appears to have been based off his interpretation of news reports and not a reflection of any notice he has received from the Manhattan DA’s office.
Mr Bragg’s office is just one of several law enforcement entities looking in to Mr Trump’s actions; another district attorney in Georgia is weighing charges against him and his legal team for efforts to overturn the election in that state, while the Department of Justice has appointed a special counsel to deliberate on that decision at the federal level.
Felony counts of falsifying business records in the state of New York carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison. Mr Cohen previously did a stint in prison for charges including campaign finance law violations related to the payment of Ms Daniels. He is one of several witnesses that has already testified before the grand jury.
The grand jury is expected to take numerous procedural steps after the testimony of the last witness concludes, and is not set to meet on Tuesday; as a result, the most likely time for a decision related to an indictment of the former president looks as of now to be Wednesday or beyond.
Mr Bragg’s office separately on Saturday warned of threats to law enforcement personnel after Mr Trump’s call for his supporters to protest any potential impending indictment; a private message to staff also vowed that his office would not be intimidated by threats. Federal law enforcement agencies did the same last year after Donald Trump’s criticism of the Department of Justice was linked to a rise in violent rhetoric expressed in conservative social media circles after the raid at Mar-a-Lago.