New York Grand Jury in Trump Criminal Probe Gets Day Off, Indictment Wait Continues
A New York grand jury got the day off as the wait intensifies for a possible criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump.
New York grand jurors got an unexpected day off Wednesday as interest intensifies over whether former President Donald Trump will be indicted in connection with hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.
If so, Trump would become the first former president in American history to be criminally charged.
The surprise adjournment came after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told the grand jury not to report to the Manhattan Criminal Court on Wednesday and to stand by for news on whether to reconvene Thursday.
A reason for the delay was not made public.
The former president said over the weekend that he would be arrested on Tuesday, without providing any substantiation for that claim.
The New York grand jury has been hearing testimony for months on whether Trump, and his Trump Organization, illegally dispersed $130,000 to Trump's then-attorney Michael Cohen, a sum Cohen has admitted paying to the adult film star to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual encounter she said she had with Trump.
The payment was made just before Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has said he never had a sexual relationship with Daniels.
In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes and served time in prison over the hush money paid to Daniels. He is a key witness in the grand jury case.
Trump and his top advisors have said Cohen took it upon himself to pay Daniels, and denied any involvement in it.
On Wednesday, meanwhile, demonstrations continued at New York City's downtown criminal court, while reports emerged that Trump relished the idea of being arrested, handcuffed and paraded outside the courthouse before media cameras in a march known as a "perp walk."
The former president even discussed with top aides whether he should smile for the cameras, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed sources close to Trump.
“He wants to be defiant — to show the world that if they cato do this to him, they can do it to anyone,” The Times quoted one person as saying about a meeting with Trump over the weekend.
Trump has been huddling with top advisers for days at his Florida Mar-a-Lago home, according to media reports. His private jet was photographed Wednesday on the tarmac at nearby Palm Beach International Airport.
In the vacuum created by delayed news on the grand jury probe, social media and commentators filled the space with jokes and barbs. Politicians contributed to the clamor.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, heavily rumored to run against Trump in the Republican presidential race for 2024, has been taunted for months by Trump, his former mentor.
In an interview with British interviewer Piers Morgan scheduled to air on Thursday, DeSantis fired back. “To me, it’s just background noise,” he said of Trump's insults.
The former president has taken to calling the Florida governor "Ron DeSanctimonious." DeSantis joked that he didn't "know how to spell" that nickname. “I don’t really know what it means, but I kind of like it,” DeSantis told Morgan, according to a column Morgan wrote for the New York Post.
“It’s long, it’s got a lot of vowels. We’ll go with that, that’s fine. I mean, you can call me whatever you want, just as long as you also call me a winner," DeSantis said.
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