Amid rumors of impending legal peril for Donald Trump, the district attorney in his hometown of New York has convened a grand jury to assess whether Trump, the Trump Organization, or members of his business should face criminal charges, The Hill reported.
Without a doubt, it marks the most aggressive stage yet in the “witch hunt” that has followed Trump since his time in office. For Trump foes, it was only the latest sign that, at last, the “walls are closing in” on the real estate mogul and former president.
Manhattan DA convenes grand jury
Over the course of the next six months, the grand jury will meet three days a week to decide whether there is enough evidence to indict Trump and his associates.
It is not clear what crime Trump is alleged to have committed, but Trump’s defenders are liable to see the case as politically tainted after his foes spent several years demanding his imprisonment over “Russian collusion” and other fictional crimes.
Vance is said to be building a case for fraud involving the Trump Organization, as well as payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels, and he wants to “flip” Allen Weisselberg, Trump’s chief financial officer, according to The Hill.
A criminal case against a former president would be genuinely unprecedented, and Trump and his defenders have slammed the probe, which is also being led by New York’s Democratic attorney general, as a banana republic-style “witch hunt” to neutralize Trump as a political threat.
Trump ripped the news as a “continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history” that began the moment he entered the political arena at Trump Tower, and which is “being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors.”
“Witch hunt” reaches new stage
Trump and his allies have noted that Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr., is a Democrat (in one of the most liberal jurisdictions in the country), and he is not seeking another term, so it’s quite possible he wants to go out with a bang.
Trump memorably spent about half of his presidency embattled by entirely bogus claims that he was working for Russia, something he still clearly resents as investigations of his personal business have continued to escalate since he left the White House.
Vance is now working together with the attorney general of New York, Letitia James, an undisguised anti-Trump partisan, in what has been called a highly unusual move after James announced last week that her long-civil probe of Trump’s finances is now criminal.
James did not clarify what prompted the change in her probe, the Sun notes, which has been going since 2019. Vance’s probe began with a now-arcane controversy over Trump’s “hush money” payments to Daniels and another woman.
A player from the Stormy Daniels saga, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, welcomed the grand jury news and said he is “not surprised,” according to the Sun.