Trump grand jury hearing cancelled amid "major dissension" in DA's office

March 23, 2023

This week began with a widespread belief that former President Donald Trump would be indicted in New York over his alleged payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

However, new revelations from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office are casting doubt on when and even if it will happen. 

"Major dissension" reported among staff

While Fox News reported that a grand jury was expected to hear evidence on Wednesday, the hearing was said to have been later canceled due to "major dissension" among members of Bragg's staff.

"We can’t confirm or comment on grand jury matters," a spokesperson for Bragg's office was quoted as telling the network. Fox News cited a source as saying there are growing concerns about the case's "weakness."

Another hearing was then scheduled for Thursday, but Fox News reported that this was also canceled. Given that New York grand juries do not sit on Fridays, no further proceedings are expected until at least Monday.

Prosecutors contend that former Trump attorney Michael Cohn gave Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair that she and the president allegedly had a decade earlier. Trump is then accused of having violated campaign finance laws by reimbursing Cohn through a series of payments disguised as legal fees.

Federal authorities rejected prosecuting Trump

Fox News noted that in 2019, prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York chose not to pursue Trump.

What's more, the Federal Election Commission wrapped up its investigation into the matter two years ago without taking action.

Bragg's actions have not just been condemned by Republicans, as George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley wrote an op-ed piece for The Hill last week in which he called the case "legally pathetic."

"In 2018 (yes, that is how long this theory has been around), I wrote how difficult such a federal case would be under existing election laws," Turley wrote. "Now, six years later, the same theory may be shoehorned into a state claim."

Turley accuses Bragg of doing "immense" damage to the rule of law

"It is extremely difficult to show that paying money to cover up an embarrassing affair was done for election purposes as opposed to an array of obvious other reasons, from protecting a celebrity’s reputation to preserving a marriage," Turley insisted.

As an example of this, he pointed to the failed 2011 prosecution of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

Turley recalled how in that case, Edwards used campaign funds in an attempt to cover up an affair whereas Trump is accused of using his own money.

The law school professor went on to say Bragg is doing "immense" damage to the rule of law, stressing that "the criminal justice system can be a terrible weapon when used for political purposes."


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