Trump may be about to see his day in a criminal court. Former President Trump was invited to testify before a New York grand jury as part of the Manhattan district attorney’s office investigation into hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office recently signaled to Trump’s lawyers that he could face criminal charges for his role in the payment of hush money to Daniels.
It marks the strongest indication yet that prosecutors are nearing an indictment of the former president.
It would be the first-ever criminal case against a former president.
Trump’s representatives called the “threat” of indictment “insane.”
Trump has of course called it a “witch hunt”, taking to his platform Truth Social to rage against the case. He called it a “Witch-Hunt trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party.”
Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges in relation to $130,000 in payments in hush money to Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, who said she had an affair with Trump.
Cohen was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison. He alleged that Trump directed the payments during the 2016 presidential campaign, but Trump’s legal team claimed vindication when the federal case was later closed.
But that was not the end of it. The Manhattan District Attorney’s office had launched a separate investigation under Bragg’s predecessor that has been ongoing for several years.
That’s not all that’s coming for Trump.
Federal prosecutors involved in the criminal investigation of Trump’s retention of classified documents argued to a judge that one of the former president’s lawyers should answer more questions before a grand jury over objections to attorney-client privilege.
Prosecutors have been seeking to invoke the so-called crime-fraud exception that allows them to compel testimony about communications between an attorney and a client when they have evidence to suggest legal advice was used in furtherance of a crime.