Not so fast. A New York grand jury will hear from one last surprise witness on Monday and won’t vote on Trump’s indictment until it’s completed.
A Manhattan grand jury will continue to hear evidence Monday as part of the investigation into Trump’s secret money.
A final witness must testify before the panel can deliberate and then vote on a possible indictment.
Monday is now the first Trump could be charged, although the charges are immediately sealed.
A possible indictment of Donald Trump for “silent money” is pending until a final witness testifies before a Manhattan grand jury on Monday afternoon.
“There is one more witness,” a source with knowledge of the investigation told Insider on Saturday night.
The source spoke on condition of anonymity as she was not authorized to release details of the grand jury proceedings.
The source declined to identify the witness, whose testimony will cap off 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 the witness was not Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s former chief financial officer, who is serving a five-month sentence for orchestrating a tax evasion on salaries at the Trump Organization.
News of a grand jury witness on Monday was first reported by CNN.
Former Trump lawyer and ‘fixer’ Michael Cohen – the prosecution’s star witness for his admitted role in wiring up the illegal $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels days before the election of 2016 – told reporters he expected to be the last witness for the grand jury when he testified last Monday and Wednesday.
The latest surprise witness provides an updated clue to the timing of a possible indictment for Trump and any co-defendants.
The grand jury, which meets in secret in a lower Manhattan office building, meets to hear testimony only in three-hour afternoon sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Its members – numbering 16 to 23 – could possibly reach a vote by the end of Monday’s three-hour session.
But that would be unlikely. Experts who described the Manhattan grand jury process to Insider say there are several steps between final testimony and voting.
Once the testimony is complete, prosecutors will “indict” the jury, which means going through the potential counts on a charge sheet one by one, explaining each count in the potential indictment. .
Sources told Insider they expect the indictment to tamper with first-degree business records, a low-level felony that allegedly alleges Trump and any other co-defendants falsified documents in order to conceal another crime, such as the omission of $130,000 from the campaign’s financial statements.
Trump vehemently denied any wrongdoing or having an affair with Daniels, and called the accusation a “scam, injustice, mockery and full and total arming of law enforcement in order to affect a presidential election!”
Once the charge is over, the prosecutor, clerk, and stenographer leave the room and the grand jurors begin to deliberate.
If 12 or more reached a vote to indict, the foreman would receive the hard copy of the indictment to sign, in which case the former president would be formally, albeit secretly, impeached.
This paper indictment would then be taken to a nearby clerk’s office, where it is filed under seal. It would be unsealed at Trump’s arraignment, although Bragg could ask a judge to unseal it sooner, given the high public interest.
That’s a lot of activity to fit into three hours; if the process is incomplete, the grand jurors could return Wednesday afternoon to continue working.
Trump had “truth” earlier Saturday that he “will be arrested on Tuesday of next week”, telling his supporters “Protest, take back our nation!” But this timing, already disputed by his lawyer, could never have worked given the new final witness.
The panel has so far heard from a steady stream of witnesses, including Cohen. Former Trump advisers Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway also appeared.
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