A grand jury in Manhattan has commenced hearing evidence in a criminal probe of a 2016 hush money paid by Donald Trump to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Prosecutors from Manhattan’s district attorney’s office have contacted Trump’s 2016 campaign officials on the issue.
The latest decision to transmit fresh evidence to a grand jury is the latest by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, to charge Trump with crimes related to paying Stormy Daniels or other acts.
The District Attorney revived the probe of Trump last fall when the department secured a criminal conviction of Trump’s organization surrounding a scheme to avoid paying taxes on executives’ compensation.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, met Bragg two weeks ago.
“It appears that I’ll probably be meeting with them again,” Cohen told CBS News. Cohen is a key witness.
Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels in the fall of 2016, when Trump was the Republican nominee for president, in change for her silence about claims that she had sex with Trump in 2005.
By his admission, Cohen stated that he made payment at Trump’s behest to Daniels to avoid the political firestorm that could emerge if the affair went public, not to mention crippling Trump’s chances of winning the elections.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018.
When asked if Cohen would be testifying before the grand jury, Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis told CNBC, “We’re not requested to do anything at the moment, but we’re fully cooperating.”
Most felonies in New York state have a statute of limitation of five years, which normally would keep Trump from prosecution in connection with the payment to Daniels. The payment occurred more than six years ago.
The state law, however, provides that the clock on the statute can be suspended for an extra five years if a defendant is “continuously outside this state.”
Trump spent four years in the White House and has lived in Florida since leaving office in 2021.
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