Donald Trump could be criminally charged in connection to a criminal investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg within what new reporting called just days, as outlined in a new report from The Daily Beast.
The probe by Bragg concerns hush money provided before the 2016 election to women with whom Trump purportedly had affairs, and reports already indicated that Trump was provided an opportunity to testify in front of a grand jury that has been hearing evidence in Bragg’s investigation, something observers explained was generally indicative of a looming indictment. The probe has also seen testimony from increasingly high-profile individuals, now including Michael Cohen himself. Cohen was a longtime associate of the ex-president who himself provided the hush money for Stormy Daniels, who appears in adult films and was one of two women paid off before the election. Cohen had already answered questions for prosecutors but as of earlier this week has now also appeared before the grand jury that’s been collecting details ahead of Bragg potentially seeking an indictment, which that group would evidently need to approve.
As The Daily Beast explained, “The decision to put Cohen on the stand behind closed doors—something prosecutors have avoided doing for years in previous iterations of this investigation—indicates that Trump could be criminally indicted in the coming days, according to two people close to the investigation.” It’s unclear who provided that take, although two formerly top prosecutors involved in the work done by the office of the Manhattan district attorney targeting Trump infamously resigned amid evident frustrations over Bragg, who took over in the middle of the Trump probes, pulling back on the possibility of charging Trump in connection with some of the allegations of financial misconduct now a subject of a civil lawsuit from New York Attorney General Letitia James.
In the matter of the hush money, Trump, if actually charged and convicted, could face up to several years in prison, although a key theory of the prospective case evidently rests on the idea of tying falsified business records covering reimbursements to Cohen to a second alleged violation of the law, a spot potentially handled by New York election rules. In a federal case, Cohen already faced similar accusations of the money surpassing limits for that kind of support for candidates for federal office. Observers also continue awaiting a decision from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in Georgia, where she’s been investigating attempts at meddling after the 2020 presidential election on the ex-president’s behalf.