Trump hush-money grand jury proceedings 'canceled' for Wednesday, sources say
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has "canceled" the grand jury meeting that was scheduled to take place Wednesday as part of the investigation into former President Trump, amid speculation of a possible indictment, two sources familiar told Fox News.
The grand jury was slated to meet Wednesday and was expected to hear from at least one additional witness, but Fox News has learned that Bragg's office "canceled" the proceedings.
The grand jury was notified Wednesday morning, and was placed "on standby" for Thursday, a source told Fox News.
Two sources familiar told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the grand jury was canceled amid "major dissension" within the district attorney's office. One source claimed the district attorney is having trouble convincing the grand jury on potential charges due to the "weakness" of the case.
Despite rumors of a potential imminent indictment, sources familiar told Fox News Digital that Trump has not been formally notified about whether Bragg actually plans to bring charges against him.
Sources told Fox News, though, that there remains a real chance that Bragg does not choose to indict the former president.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Hilton Anatole on August 06, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Bragg, when he took over as district attorney in January 2022, stopped pursuing charges against Trump and suspended the investigation "indefinitely," according to one of the top prosecutors who resigned from the office in protest.
Prosecutors Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, who had been leading the investigation under former DA Cyrus Vance, submitted their resignations after Bragg began raising doubts about pursuing a case against Trump.
The possible charges stem from the $130,000 hush-money payment that then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
Federal prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019, even as Cohen implicated him as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
Cohen has said Trump directed the payments. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 through his own company and was later reimbursed by Trump's company, which logged the payments as "legal expenses." Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who allegedly had a relationship with Trump, received a $150,000 payment through the publisher of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer.
FLASHBACK: TRUMP SAYS HE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT $130K PAYMENT FROM MICHAEL COHEN TO STORMY DANIELS
The Trump Organization "grossed up" Cohen’s reimbursement for Daniels' payment for "tax purposes," according to federal prosecutors who filed the 2018 criminal charges against Cohen for the payments.
Trump has repeatedly denied wrongdoing with regard to the payments made to Daniels, and he has repeatedly said the payments were "not a campaign violation" but rather a "simple private transaction."
Robert Costello, a former legal adviser to Cohen, appeared before the grand jury Monday and testified that Cohen is a "serial liar."
Costello testified before the grand jury for more than two hours Monday. Costello said he testified that Trump did not know about the payments made by Cohen to Stormy Daniels.
The Manhattan DA’s investigation into Trump began in 2019 by then-District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The probe was focused on possible bank, insurance and tax fraud. The case initially involved financial dealings of Trump’s Manhattan properties, including his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower, and the valuation of his 213-acre estate Seven Springs in Westchester.
The investigation last year led to tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and its finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.
Grand jury deliberations and votes are secret proceedings, and an indictment typically remains under seal until an arraignment.