Not so fast. A New York grand jury will hear a final surprise witness on Monday and won’t vote on Trump indictment until it’s over.
A Manhattan grand jury will continue hearing evidence Monday in the Trump hush money investigation.
A final witness must testify before the jury can deliberate and then vote on a possible indictment.
Monday is now the earliest Trump could be indicted, though the charges will be sealed immediately.
A possible indictment of Donald Trump for “hush money” is on hold until a final witness testifies before a grand jury in Manhattan on Monday afternoon.
“There is also a witness,” a source with knowledge of the investigation told Insider on Saturday night.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the grand jury proceedings.
The source declined to identify the witness, whose testimony will cap a two-month grand jury presentation by prosecutors under District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
A separate source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, told Insider that the witness is not Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s former CFO, who is serving a five-month sentence for admitting to organizing a tax avoidance scheme. salaries at the Trump Organization.
The news about a Monday grand jury witness was first reported by CNN.
Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen — the prosecution’s star witness for his admitted role in the illegal payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election — has told reporters he expected to be the final grand jury witness when he testified last Monday and Wednesday.
The latest surprise witness offers an update on the timing of a possible indictment of Trump and any defendants.
The grand jury, which convenes in secret in a lower Manhattan office building, convenes only to hear testimony during three-hour afternoon sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Its members – anywhere from 16 to 23 in number – could reach a vote by the end of Monday’s three-hour session.
But that would be impossible. Experts who have described the Manhattan grand jury process to Insider say there are several steps between the final testimony and the vote.
The story continues
After the testimony ends, prosecutors will “charge” the jury, which means going through the possible charges one by one on a charge sheet, explaining each count in the possible indictment.
Sources have told Insider they expect the primary count to be falsifying business records in the first degree, a low-level felony that would allege Trump and any other defendants falsified documents to conceal another crime, such as is the removal of $130,000 from campaign finance statements.
Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing or having a connection to Daniels and has called the prosecution a “Fraud, Injustice, Mockery and a Complete and Total Weaponization of Law Enforcement to Influence the Presidential Election!”
After the charge is over, the prosecutor, court officer and stenographer leave the room and the jurors begin deliberating.
If 12 or more reach a vote to impeach, the ringleader would be given a hard copy indictment to sign, at which point the former president would be officially, albeit secretly, under indictment.
That printed indictment would then be sent to the nearest clerk’s office, where it would be placed under seal. It would be unblocked at Trump’s trial, though Bragg could ask a judge to unblock it early, given the overwhelming public interest.
That’s a lot of activity to fit into three hours; if the process is not complete, jurors may return Wednesday afternoon to continue work.
Trump had the “truth” earlier Saturday that he “will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” telling supporters to “Protest, take back our nation!” But that timing, already disputed by his lawyer, could never have worked given the new final witness.
The jury has so far heard from a steady stream of witnesses, including Cohen. Former Trump advisers Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway also appeared.
Read the original article on Business Insider