The Manhattan grand jury investigating money paid by then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 election campaign has been adjourned for at least a month.
Prosecutors said the vacation was pre-planned and the grand jury is scheduled to consider other matters next week before taking a long hiatus, Politico reported on Wednesday. That means any vote on whether or not to indict the former president likely wouldn’t come until late April at the earliest.
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The grand jury has been meeting regularly Monday and Wednesday afternoons. It met Monday and a longtime Trump friend and potential key witness in the investigation was seen leaving the building where the grand jury has been meeting. The grand jury was not scheduled to meet Wednesday.
Trump’s lawyer claimed the case was “dead” in an interview with Newsmax.
“You can’t twist and torture the law to fit the person,” Trump’s lawyer, Lindsey Halligan, said. “I think they just are trying to keep the case alive — but it looks like the case is dead.
“If not, it should be. Bragg needs to wrap this case up, stop focusing on someone who doesn’t even live in New York City, and focus on protecting those living in New York City from the violent crime going on there,” she said.
News earlier this month that Trump had been invited to appear before the grand jury fueled widespread speculation that an indictment would soon be forthcoming. Trump himself added to that anticipation with a post on his social media platform saying that he expected to be arrested soon, though his representatives later said that they had not received any such indication from prosecutors.
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But the district attorney’s office has made no public statements on the timing of any possible indictments, continuing its work in secret over the last two weeks. On March 20, the grand jury heard from a witness favorable to Trump.
People familiar with how grand jury processes typically unfold cautioned that the schedule could change and that prosecutors could still ask jurors to consider charges or vote on an indictment on one of the days they’re expected to meet on other matters.
Few people — Manhattan District Alvin Bragg and the prosecutors in charge of the grand jury investigation — know precisely how the grand jury investigation is proceeding and at what pace. They control when witnesses are called to testify and will be the ones deciding whether, and when, to seek an indictment.
Since Trump’s March 18 post, authorities ratcheted up security, deploying additional police officers, lining the streets around the courthouse with barricades and dispatching bomb-sniffing dogs.
They’ve also had to respond to myriad threats, including bomb and death threats, a suspicious powder scare, and a protester who was arrested Tuesday after witnesses say she pulled a knife on passersby outside the courthouse.
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Trump took to social media to praise the grand jury —
I HAVE GAINED SUCH RESPECT FOR THIS GRAND JURY, & PERHAPS EVEN THE GRAND JURY SYSTEM AS A WHOLE. THE EVIDENCE IS SO OVERWHELMING IN MY FAVOR, & SO RIDICULOUSLY BAD FOR THE HIGHLY PARTISAN & HATEFUL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, THAT THE GRAND JURY IS SAYING, HOLD ON, WE ARE NOT A RUBBER STAMP, WHICH MOST GRAND JURIES ARE BRANDED AS BEING, WE ARE NOT GOING TO VOTE AGAINST A PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE OR AGAINST LARGE NUMBERS OF LEGAL SCHOLARS ALL SAYING THERE IS NO CASE HERE. DROP THIS SICK WITCH HUNT, NOW!
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article