Mar 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump invited to testify before New York grand jury

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters before his speech at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center on March 4.

Former President Trump at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, earlier this month. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Former President Trump was invited to testify before a New York grand jury as part of the Manhattan district attorney's office investigation into hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, his lawyers told multiple outlets Thursday.

Why it matters: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's invitation could indicate that the former president may face criminal charges over the allegations, per the New York Times, which first reported the news. Trump's representatives called the "threat" of indictment "insane."

What they're saying: Trump attorney Joseph Tacopina told AP there wasn't a legal basis for bringing the first-ever criminal case against a former president and he didn't think prosecutors had decided "one way or another."

  • "It’s just another example of them weaponizing the justice system against him," added Tacopina in confirming the grand jury invitation to Trump for next week. "And it's sort of unfair."
  • Trump said in a post on his Truth Social platform that the New York case was a "Witch-Hunt trying to take down the leading candidate, by far, in the Republican Party."

The big picture: Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 on federal charges in relation to $130,000 in payments in hush money to Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, who said she had an affair with Trump — claims the former president strongly denies.

  • However, the Manhattan District Attorney's office had launched a separate investigation under Bragg's predecessor that has been ongoing for several years.
  • Trump on Thursday accused Bragg of falling back on an "old and rebuked case which has been rejected by every prosecutor’s office that has looked."
  • Representatives for the Manhattan DA's office declined to comment on the case.
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