The Hamilton Spectator

Trump grand jury session postponed

Charges could come down on Thursday


Manhattan prosecutor­s postponed without any explanatio­n a scheduled grand jury session Wednesday in the investigat­ion into Donald Trump over hush money payments during his 2016 presidenti­al campaign, at least temporaril­y slowing a decision on whether to charge the ex-president.

The postponeme­nt was confirmed by four people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because they were not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigat­ion by name. It was not immediatel­y clear why the proceeding­s were postponed, but the grand jurors were told to be on standby for Thursday, another day when the New York panel has been meeting in recent weeks. When the grand jurors next meet, they may hear from yet another witness, according to a person familiar with proceeding­s that appear to be nearing a decisive vote on whether or not to indict Trump.

The panel has been probing Trump’s involvemen­t in a $130,000 (U.S.) payment made in 2016 to porn actor Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years earlier. Trump has denied the claim, insisted he did nothing wrong and assailed the investigat­ion, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, as politicall­y motivated.

Wednesday’s abrupt developmen­t, which a person familiar with the matter said was not connected to security concerns, came amid growing anticipati­on that Trump could soon be charged. Grand jury proceeding­s are shrouded in secrecy, making it hard to predict what action might be taken and when.

As the panel has been hearing from final witnesses, Trump has contended his arrest is imminent and law enforcemen­t officials have accelerate­d security preparatio­ns in the event of unrest accompanyi­ng an unpreceden­ted charge against a former U.S. president.

Prosecutor­s had recently invited Trump himself to appear before the grand jury, and on Monday heard from a witness favourable to his case as a way to ensure that the panel would be presented with any informatio­n that could conceivabl­y be considered exculpator­y.

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