Top Line

Trump has “no plans” to participate in a Manhattan grand jury investigation into his role in secretly paying money to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign for the White House, his attorney said Monday. Said – days after the grand jury allegedly sought her testimony in a move that indicates it could be closer to an indictment.

important facts

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Trump is not currently scheduled to meet the grand jury, his attorney Joe Tacopina said monday on abc good Morning America,

Leaving open the possibility that Trump could testify at a later date, Tacopina said, “Decisions still need to be made. No time frame has been set, so we’ll wait and see.”

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Tacopina said Trump’s lawyer, Susan Nechels, who is leading the case, has met with Manhattan prosecutors.

Tacopina accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his office of having an “agenda” against Trump and claimed the former president was a victim of extortion by Daniels, with whom he has denied having a relationship.

Tacopina dismissed the notion that the $130,000 payment made to Daniels by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and so-called fixer, had anything to do with Trump’s campaign activity, and said the former president should “publicly “Had to pay money” to avoid “embarrassment”. Allegations “regardless of the campaign.”

Tacopina said “There [were] To my knowledge absolutely no false records have been made,” but federal prosecutors in their 2018 case against Cohen allege he was duped by the Trump Organization of hush-money payments for services incorrectly specified as retainer fees. Reimbursement was made.

important quotes

"This is not a contribution to his campaign," Tacopina said. "He built it with personal funds to prevent something embarrassing for himself and his family's young son but coming out as something wrong. This is not a campaign finance violation, not by any means."

main background

The Manhattan District Attorney's office began investigating Trump in 2019 after Cohen was indicted on federal campaign finance charges related to his role in paying Daniels. In that case, federal prosecutors allege that Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 in 2006 in exchange for silence about an alleged affair with Trump and was later reimbursed by the Trump Organization. Prosecutors said the deal essentially constituted an illegal campaign finance contribution intended to sabotage the results of the 2016 presidential election. Manhattan prosecutors are reportedly weighing charges of falsifying business records as well as campaign finance charges against Trump. Last week, a Manhattan grand jury examining the evidence against the former president reportedly sought his testimony, signaling an indictment to come.

tangent line

Tacopina requested the New York City Department of Investigation to open an investigation into Bragg's office, accusing him of "scrutinizing every aspect of Trump's personal life and business affairs". , , Hoping to find some legal basis," he wrote a letter to the independent probe agency. Tacopino alleged that the Manhattan DA's investigation into Trump was "prosecutorial misconduct" and "a blatant and unconstitutional attempt to interfere with federal elections in an effort to prosecute President Trump in order to make him unable to run for re-election." " Even if Trump is convicted, however, he may still be able to contest because no federal law prevents convicts from seeking the presidency.

what to watch

Cohen, who has met with Manhattan prosecutors at least a dozen times since indicting in 2018 on five federal charges related to the scheme, will reportedly testify before a grand jury on Monday.

Trump denies affair with Stormy Daniels — because he could face criminal charges in alleged hush-money scheme (Forbes)

Trump expected to face criminal charges in New York, report says (Forbes)

Trump could face charges over Stormy Daniels payoff as Manhattan DA reportedly summons grand jury (Forbes)