x

Politics

New Grand Jury Seated for Next Stage of Trump Investigation

NEW YORK  — New York prosecutors have convened a special grand jury to consider evidence in a criminal investigation into former President Donald Trump's business dealings, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The development signals that the Manhattan district attorney's office was moving toward seeking charges as a result of its two-year investigation, which included a lengthy legal battle to obtain Trump's tax records.

The person familiar with the matter was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity. The news was first reported by The Washington Post.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into a variety of matters such as hush-money payments paid to women on Trump's behalf, property valuations and employee compensation.

The Democratic prosecutor has been using an investigative grand jury through the course of his probe to issue subpoenas and obtain documents. That panel kept working while other grand juries and court activities were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The investigation includes scrutiny of Trump's relationship with his lenders; a land donation he made to qualify for an income tax deduction; and tax write-offs his company claimed on millions of dollars in consulting fees it paid.

The new grand jury could eventually be asked to consider returning indictments. While working on that case, it also will be hearing other matters. The Post reported that the grand jury will meet three days a week for six months.

Trump contends the investigation is a "witch hunt."

"This is purely political, and an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it's being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors," Trump said in a statement.

Vance's office declined to comment. 

The new grand jury is the latest sign of increasing momentum in the criminal investigation into the Republican ex-president and his company, the Trump Organization.

Attorney General Letitia James said last week that she assigned two lawyers to work with Vance's office on the probe after her civil investigation into Trump evolved into a criminal matter.

James, a Democrat, said her office also is continuing its civil investigation into Trump. She did not say what prompted her office to expand its investigation into a criminal probe.

In recent months, Vance hired former mafia prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to help run the investigation and has been interviewing witnesses, including Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Vance declined to run for reelection and will leave office at the end of the year, meaning the Trump case is likely to pass to his successor in some form. An election next month is all but certain to determine who that will be.

Trump said in a statement last week that he's being "unfairly attacked and abused by a corrupt political system." He contends the investigations are part of a Democratic plot to silence his voters and block him from running for president again.

In February, the U.S. Supreme Court buoyed Vance's investigation by clearing the way for the prosecutor to enforce a subpoena on Trump's accounting firm and obtain eight years of tax returns and related documents for the former president, the Trump Organization and other Trump entities. 

The documents are protected by grand jury secrecy rules and are not expected to be made public.

Vance's investigation has appeared to focus in recent weeks on Trump's longtime finance chief, Allen Weisselberg. His former daughter-in-law, Jen Weisselberg, is cooperating with both inquiries.

She's given investigators reams of tax records and other documents as they look into whether some Trump employees were given off-the-books compensation, such as apartments or school tuition.

Allen Weisselberg was subpoenaed in James' civil investigation and testified twice last year. His lawyer declined to comment when asked Tuesday if he had been subpoenaed to testify before the new grand jury.

A message seeking comment was left with Jen Weisselberg's lawyer.

RELATED

WASHINGTON  — President Joe Biden and his national security team monitored Iran’s aerial attack against Israel on Saturday as U.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Evzones March in the Rain to Greek Flag Raising at Bowling Green in NYC (VIDEO)

NEW YORK – The heavy rain did not deter the Hellenic Presidential Guard, the Evzones, and the participants in the march from St.

JERUSALEM  — An incoming attack by Iranian drones and ballistic missiles poses the latest challenge to Israel’s air defense system, which already has been working overtime to cope with incoming rocket, drone and missile attacks throughout the six-month war against Hamas.

JERUSALEM  — Booms and air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem early Sunday after Iran launched dozens of drones and ballistic missiles toward Israel in an unprecedented revenge mission that pushed the Middle East ever closer to a regionwide war.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors realize they will have a hard road to reach the playoffs.

The Ford Bronco initially was conceived and designed for rugged outdoorsy types, a two-door means of escape to nature from the bustling cities of mid-century America.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.