The Manhattan grand jury investigating an alleged payment from one of Donald Trump’s previous attorneys to an adult film actress is not convening for at least another month, due in part to a previously scheduled break, Politico reported.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg convened the grand jury to weigh evidence and hear testimony from witnesses including Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he made a $130,000 payment to actress Stormy Daniels to remain silent about an alleged affair.
Speculation grew early last week over a potential indictment after Trump predicted on his social media platform Truth Social that an indictment from the Manhattan DA was imminent. Trump told his followers that based on leaked information he would be indicted on Mar. 21.
Though the grand jury convened that day, it did not deliver an indictment.
Jamie Pukl-Werbel, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney who teaches at Seton Hall law school, told Politico that people “shouldn’t read anything into the grand jury not hearing the case for another couple weeks,” given that a complicated set of evidence may take time to present to the grand jury.
An unnamed source within the Manhattan DA’s office told the New York Post that a substantial number of attorneys within the office are displeased with Bragg’s decision to pursue Trump.
“They don’t understand how this case is going forward,” the source said. “These ADAs are not fans of Trump but they are professional lawyers and know the law.”
John Dean, former White House Counsel for President Richard Nixon, says that Bragg may have been asked to delay bringing formal charges against Trump.
“The on and off nature of the Manhattan grand jury doesn’t to me suggest that the D.A., Bragg, has suddenly discovered he’s got a weak case,” Dean told CNN host John Berman, The Hill reported.
“I think he’s got a grand jury who might not want more witnesses, and you know, there’s a remote possibility, John, that some other prosecutor contacted him and said ‘do you really have to go first?’” he added. “He knows his isn’t the strongest, most presidential-type case that is going to be presented against Trump. And he might have been asked to delay, and drag his feet a little while, because some of these other cases might be ripe for action.”
Dean added that though he does not know this for a fact, “prosecutors do have those kind of off-the-record conversations.”