According to a report that was published on Thursday by The New York Times, prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan district attorney have recently offered former President Donald Trump the opportunity to testify next week before a grand jury that’s been investigating a hush money payment scheme. This is a sign that they are getting close to the conclusion of their investigation.
CNN was informed by a source that Trump’s attorney recently conferred with the office of the district attorney. According to another person acquainted with the case, his legal team has been concerned about the intentions of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg because of the lately increased activity at the grand jury.
This information comes from a source who is familiar with the matter. Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway, both of whom formerly worked for President Trump’s White House, testified recently in front of the grand jury. CNN requested a response from the office of the district attorney in Manhattan, but they declined to provide one.
Trump’s spokesman said in a statement to CNN-
“The Manhattan District Attorney’s threat to indict President Trump is simply insane. For the past five years, the DA’s office has been on a Witch Hunt, investigating every aspect of President Trump’s life, and they’ve come up empty at every turn – and now this.”
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The probe concerns a payment of $130,000 made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in late October 2016, just days before the presidential election, in order to quiet her and prevent her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump ten years earlier. Trump has stated that there was no affair.
In a lengthy response on his Truth Social account Thursday night, Trump said in part, “I did absolutely nothing wrong, I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels.”
The exchange of money in exchange for silence is not unlawful. The decision to file charges against Trump for allegedly falsifying the business records of the Trump Organization regarding how it reflected the reimbursement of the payment to Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen, who claimed that he advanced the money to Daniels, is currently being deliberated upon by the prosecutors. In the state of New York, it is a misdemeanor to falsify business records.
Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney who pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance charges for facilitating the $130,000 payment to Daniels, is expected to provide additional testimony at the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Monday, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon about the situation.
Cohen has been charged with facilitating the payment to Daniels. That would be Cohen’s 20th appearance before the district attorney’s office, counting appearances made under the tenure of Bragg’s predecessor, Cy Vance, who preceded Bragg in the position.
The prosecutors are also considering whether or not to charge him with falsifying business records in the first degree for falsifying a record with the intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal another crime, which in this case could be a violation of the laws governing campaign finance.
If they decide to bring this charge, it would be for falsifying a record with the intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal another crime. This is a Class E felony, which means that the sentence could be anywhere from one year all the way up to four years in prison.
Inside the Trump Organization’s internal accounting books, the reimbursements were categorized as a legal expense. In the past, Trump has refuted claims that he was aware of the payment.
There is a possibility of adverse consequences in the event that the office of the district attorney decides to proceed with the filing of charges. It is possible for Trump’s legal team to contest the applicability of campaign finance laws as a criminal, which would turn the matter into a felony.
According to persons with knowledge of the situation, CNN reported a month ago that Jeffrey McConney, the controller of the Trump Organization, would testify in front of the grand jury. At the Trump Organization, McConney holds the position of one of the highest-ranking financial officials and is in charge of the company’s bookkeeping and record-keeping.
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