The New York grand jury being used for a criminal investigation of former President Donald Trump is not expected to hear evidence for the next month, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
The panel has been hearing testimony about a $130,000 hush money payment that Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen gave porn star Stormy Daniels right before the 2016 presidential election.
The reported pause in the Manhattan courthouse would delay any potential indictment of Trump from this grand jury until at least late April.
However, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg can summon the grand jury at any time, so it is possible there might be action in the case before then.
The panel began hearing testimony in late January. On Monday, the grand jury heard from David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer, who was involved in efforts to suppress unflattering stories about Trump.
Trump incorrectly predicted he would be arrested in the probe last week.
The investigation is focused on business records that reflect Trump’s reimbursement to Cohen for the payoff to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. The Trump Organization listed that reimbursement as “legal expenses.”
Under New York law, falsifying business records is a misdemeanor. But that can become a felony if the misstatement is done to cover up another crime.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal campaign finance crimes, one of which was related to paying Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged sexual tryst with Trump in 2006 to avoid the claim harming his chances of winning the 2016 election.
The other campaign finance crime was Cohen facilitating the $150,000 hush money payment The Enquirer’s parent company paid Playboy model Karen McDougal in 2016 to prevent her from going public about an alleged affair she had with Trump.
Trump denies having sex with either Daniels or McDougal.
He claims the investigation by DA Bragg is designed to harm him politically.
Bragg is a Democrat. Trump is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.