Bragg is investigating the ousted former president over payments to actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal. Investigators wonder if Trump may have violated campaign finance laws by making the payments. Hush money is not illegal in the U.S., but Daniels’ $130,000 and McDougal’s $150,000 campaign donations in New York state could be impeached. Trump sees the practice as a politically motivated “witch hunt” and predicted Tuesday would be the time for an “arrest.”
When there is an indictment — and if there is — it is now fully open. US media have not ruled out possible charges this week. A so-called grand jury votes on this. In the United States, a jury decides whether to indict a case after the prosecution presents evidence. It is made up of citizens randomly selected from voter registers or other public records. Grand juries are usually involved when big and controversial cases come up.
However, grand juries don’t function publicly — so it’s unclear what goes on behind closed doors. However, it is confirmed that the panel has examined several witnesses in the case in recent weeks. All signs point to an impeachment imminent. The chamber now has this Wednesday as a new possible date for the vote. The jury has the possibility to examine other witnesses. A grand jury usually consists of 23 citizens. A simple majority is sufficient to vote for impeachment.
The indictment will initially be under lock and key — but it could be released. As a next step, the prosecutor will brief Trump and his lawyers on the charges. Experts believe the attorney general will make an appointment for Trump to surrender voluntarily.
Trump’s environment had previously assured that the former president would appear in court voluntarily. It does not require a sensational arrest. Trump will then have to appear in New York – where he will be fingerprinted and photographed. All this happens behind closed doors. This is usually followed by the reading of the charge sheet – usually in public. For example, Trump could plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” It is assumed that Trump can go home after such a formal procedure.
The media expect that such an appointment – if there is an indictment – will not be made until next week. However, it’s conceivable that Trump or the attorney general’s office will make the allegations public in advance. Trump, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination again, is using the current attention surrounding the case to raise funds. He also incites his supporters against the judiciary. There was “no offense,” Trump wrote Tuesday on the Truth social network he co-founded. Some Republicans have been targeting Bragg, the district attorney in charge, for the past few days. Security has been beefed up around the New York courthouse.
“If the former president is impeached, I would encourage Americans to participate in protests,” Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence said Tuesday. Trump’s party colleague also reportedly has White House ambitions. In the past few days, the demonstrations have been very limited. Trump’s call for protests, however, recalled the attack on the US capital on January 6, 2021. During that time he attacked his supporters before violently storming the Houses of Parliament in Washington.
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