Trump has not been notified whether Manhattan DA plans to bring charges: sources
Former President Donald Trump has not been formally notified about whether Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg plans to bring charges against him, sources familiar told Fox News Digital, amid speculation of a possible imminent indictment.
Sources told Fox News, though, that there remains a real chance that Bragg does not choose to indict the former president.
Multiple sources told Fox News that at least one more witness is expected to appear before the grand jury when it convenes Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Manhattan. It is unclear at this point who the witness or witnesses are.
Grand jury deliberations and votes are secret proceedings, and an indictment typically remains under seal until an arraignment.
If an indictment is brought, Trump’s attorneys would immediately be notified. If indicted and notified, Trump’s attorneys would be able to begin negotiating the terms of a court appearance with the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
An indictment, if brought, could come as early as Wednesday, a source told Fox News, adding that the earliest Trump could appear in court if charged would be next week. If indicted, the U.S. Secret Service and the New York Police Department would discuss how the former president would surrender.
The possible charges stem from the $130,000 hush-money payment that then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019, even as Cohen implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
Cohen has said Trump directed the payments. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 through his own company and was later reimbursed by Trump’s company, which logged the payments as ‘legal expenses.’ Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who allegedly had a relationship with Trump, received a $150,000 payment through the publisher of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer.
The Trump Organization ‘grossed up’ Cohen’s reimbursement for Daniels’ payment for ‘tax purposes,’ according to federal prosecutors who filed the 2018 criminal charges against Cohen for the payments.
Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing with regard to the payments made to Daniels, and he has repeatedly said the payments were ‘not a campaign violation’ but rather a ‘simple private transaction.’
Robert Costello, a former legal adviser to Cohen, appeared before the grand jury Monday and testified that Cohen is a ‘serial liar.’
Costello testified before the grand jury for more than two hours Monday. Costello said he testified that Trump did not know about the payments made by Cohen to Stormy Daniels.
The Manhattan DA’s investigation into Trump began in 2019 by then-District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The probe was focused on possible bank, insurance and tax fraud. The case initially involved financial dealings of Trump’s Manhattan properties, including his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower, and the valuation of his 213-acre estate Seven Springs in Westchester.
The investigation last year led to tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and its finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.