Trump Organization Witnesses Prepare to Testify with Prosecutors: Report
New York prosecutors have reportedly prepared Trump Organization witnesses to testify before a special grand jury in a criminal case involving Donald Trump, his eponymous company, and several executives affiliated with Trump.
According to a new report Per ABC News, the move indicates that the investigation, led by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., has entered a more advanced phase and that Vance can now move from gathering evidence to a formal arraignment. .
“It is very rare that there is a special grand jury formed at the Manhattan Supreme Court and that jury does not consider the charges at some point,” Daniel Alonso, former deputy chief prosecutor in the DA’s office the Manhattan district, Told CNN.
Adam S. Kaufmann, who was the head of the bureau’s investigative unit, echoed that “this really suggests that they have reached a point in their investigation where the district attorney believes there is evidence. of a crime. ” He added: “You don’t create a special grand jury unless you think you have a viable case.”
Special grand juries – as opposed to federal grand juries – are only needed in cases of great complexity, as noted by CNN. Special grand juries are unique in that they do not allow prosecutors to present what is known as “hearsay evidence” when an outside legal authority presents the facts of the case on behalf of a lawyer. witness. In special grand jury hearings, all witnesses should be questioned directly.
Vance’s investigation dates back to August 2019, when the district attorney subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars, for documents relating to Trump’s personal and business tax returns on suspicion that Trump had inflated the value of his real estate assets to obtain low-interest loans and under-served tax breaks. Trump has since fought tooth and nail to block the probe in court, but his efforts were mostly shot, as Salon reported.
Also part of Vance’s investigation are Trump’s alleged silence payments to various women with whom the former president has alleged extramarital affairs, as well as the Trump organization’s chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, who may have illegally taken advantage of the business for his family.
In an MSNBC interview on Tuesday, former federal prosecutor Harry Litman Express good confidence that the case does not work in Trump’s favor. “The grand jury is going to get it all and it’s true,” Litman said. “We know the – that was the start of the case, but then they got the mother line. They got the tax returns, going back and forth to the Supreme Court twice to get them.”
On the same day, President Trump called the investigation into the “greatest witch hunt in American history”.
“It’s purely political and an affront to the nearly 75 million voters who backed me in the presidential election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democratic prosecutors,” the former president said.
The jury is set to meet three days a week for three to six months.