Reports have surfaced that former President Donald Trump has been offered the chance to testify before a grand jury by Manhattan prosecutors — a sign that Trump could face criminal charges for allegedly paying hush money to an adult film star during his 2016 Presidential campaign.
The move by Alvin Bragg (D), Manhattan District Attorney, indicates he may be planning to indict Trump soon as New York state law requires that a defendant is allowed to testify before a grand jury before being indicted.
As a result of the state law, offers to testify often precede charging decisions, although defenders rarely avail themselves to testify.
The grand jury probe revolves around a $130,000 payment of hush money made to adult film star Stormy Daniels days before the election by Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, and longtime fixer.
The payment was made as part of a nondisclosure agreement over an alleged affair Daniels claims she had with Trump while Melania Trump was pregnant. Trump denies such an affair occurred.
Bragg’s grand jury investigation is one of several probes into Trump and his businesses.
Trump is also subject to investigation by the Department of Justice for his alleged mishandling of classified documents and his efforts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election results. A special counsel has been appointed to oversee these investigations.
In Georgia, a grand jury is investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn election results in the state.
But, considering the move Bragg made to offer Trump an appearance before a grand jury could mean that Trump faces his first criminal charges from the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation.