Trump’s Indictment Over “Hush Money” Case Delayed As Jury Fails To Meet

Trump's indictment on 'Hush Money' case delayed as jury doesn't meet

Trump would become first former president ever impeached if panel votes to indict (Profile)

New York:

A New York grand jury will not meet for a whole day on Wednesday, US media reported, delaying a decision on whether to indict former president Donald Trump over hush money paid to a porn star. or not.

The committee, which operates in secret, usually gathers Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, leading to speculation that a vote on a historic indictment against a former president is imminent.

However, Wednesday’s session was adjourned, unnamed law enforcement officials told multiple US media outlets without giving a reason for the pause. The New York Times reported that interruption of grand jury proceedings is not unusual.

Insider, which reported on the canceled meeting, cited a source who said the panel might not regroup this week, meaning a decision could be made as early as Monday.

With barricades outside Trump Tower and police on high alert, New York held its breath ahead of the expected indictment for days, especially after Trump announced over the weekend that he would was arrested on Tuesday. He didn’t.

The 76-year-old Republican would become the first incumbent or former president ever to be impeached if the panel votes to indict.

This unprecedented move will shake up the 2024 election campaign, in which Trump is running to regain office.

It would also increase the likelihood that a former leader of the free world would be arrested, fingerprinted and possibly handcuffed.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg formed the grand jury in January following an investigation into a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016.

Grand juries operate behind closed doors to prevent perjury or witness tampering before trials, making it virtually impossible to monitor their proceedings.

A spokeswoman for Bragg told AFP she “cannot confirm or comment on grand jury matters.”

Even if the panel does decide, it’s unclear when Bragg will release any charges.

Legal experts say it may be some time before Trump – now at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida – is charged before a Manhattan Criminal Court judge.

The gag payment was made weeks before the 2016 election, allegedly to prevent Daniels from going public about the connection she said she had with Trump years earlier.

Trump denied the incident and called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

– Trump calls for protests –

Michael Cohen, his former lawyer turned rival who testified before a grand jury, told Congress in 2019 that he made payments on Trump’s behalf and was subsequently reimbursed.

Experts say the payment to Daniels, if not accounted for correctly, could lead to charges of falsifying business records.

That can be elevated to a felony if the accounting is wrong to cover up a second crime, such as a campaign finance violation, which carries a penalty of up to four years in prison.

Analysts say that argument has not been tested and will be difficult to prove in court, and any jail time is uncertain.

An indictment begins a lengthy process that can take months, if not longer. The case will face mountains of legal problems as it moves toward jury selection and causes security headaches for Secret Service agents protecting Trump.

Trump has called for large protests if he is impeached, raising fears of unrest similar to the January 6, 2021 riots at the US Capitol, but so far The protests were still small and quiet.

New York police set up barricades outside the courthouse and Trump Tower.

Trump is facing a number of criminal investigations at the state and federal level for misconduct that could threaten his new White House campaign, many more serious than the Manhattan one.

These include his efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 Georgia state election, his handling of classified documents, and his possible participation in the January 6 riots.

Some observers believe the indictment foreshadows Trump’s 2024 campaign chances, while others say it could boost his support.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)


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