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The New Daily
The New Daily
Karen Freifeld

Mystery surrounds Trump arrest, amid grand jury delay

Donald Trump probe postponed 10 News First – Disclaimer

Another day has passed without an indictment against former US president Donald Trump, who set off a frenzy by announcing he would be arrested on Tuesday in a probe of alleged illegal hush-money payments to a porn star.

A Manhattan grand jury did not meet as had been expected on Wednesday (US time), a law enforcement source said, although it was unclear why or how much longer the grand jury would take to conclude its work.

That means Mr Trump will not be indicted until at least Thursday.

If indicted, he would be the first US president to face criminal charges in a court.

The grand jury, a panel of US citizens living in Manhattan, has been considering evidence in one of many legal probes swirling around Mr Trump as he mounts a comeback bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The panel could reconvene on Thursday. The Insider news outlet first reported the news that the it would not convene on Wednesday.

“I’m a little confused by all the speculation about why the Manhattan DA’s indictment is delayed,” tweeted Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

“He never said he would indict today, or at all, so there is no delay. For such a high-profile case, they’ll want to get it right. They’ll move if and when ready, not a moment before.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office declined to comment.

Mr Trump has been publicly silent since announcing via his Truth Media social network that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday, and calling on his supporters to turn out protest.

In a social media post early Sunday Australian time, he said the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week”.

“Protest, take our nation back,” he wrote.

The office has been investigating $US130,000 ($195,000) paid in the final weeks of Mr Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who said she had a sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006 when he was married to his current wife Melania.

Mr Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen has said he made the payment at Mr Trump’s direction to buy her silence. Mr Trump has denied an affair took place.

Cohen went to prison after pleading guilty to federal charges stemming from the payoff, but prosecutors in that case did not charge Mr Trump. Manhattan has started and stopped its own investigation into the matter several times.

About half of Americans believe the New York investigation is politically motivated, but a large majority find it believable that Mr Trump paid hush money to a porn star, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

If charges are filed in the Manhattan case, Mr Trump will have to travel to New York from his Florida home for a mug shot and fingerprinting. Security officials are bracing for possible unrest, but so far few of Mr Trump’s supporters have heeded his call for protests.

Mr Trump’s fellow Republicans have criticised the probe by Mr Bragg, a Democrat, as politically motivated.

On Wednesday, Mr Trump appeared to suffer a setback in another investigation.

Several media outlets reported that his lawyer, Evan Corcoran, would testify on Friday before a federal grand jury in Washington investigating whether Mr Trump mishandled sensitive federal documents.

Special prosecutor Jack Smith had argued that Mr Trump had not been truthful with his lawyer, and thus normal lawyer-client protections should not apply.

Along with the federal documents probe, Mr Trump and his political allies also face two criminal investigations, one in Georgia and one by the federal government, stemming from their attempts to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat.

On top of that, he faces two investigations in New York into his business practices and a defamation case by a woman who claims he raped her in the 1990s, a claim Mr Trump denies.

Mr Trump has escaped legal peril numerous times. In the White House, he weathered two attempts by Congress to remove him from office, including for the January 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol by his supporters, as well as a years-long probe into his campaign’s contacts with Russia in 2016.

– with AAP

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