Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office ‘canceled’ the grand jury meeting scheduled for Wednesday as part of the ongoing investigation into an alleged hush-money payment linked to former President Donald Trump. The cancelation comes amid speculation of a pending indictment.
The grand jury was scheduled to meet on Wednesday and hear from an additional witness. However, according to sources, Bragg’s office canceled the proceedings.
According to a source, the grand jury was notified Wednesday morning and was put “on standby” for Thursday.
“We can’t confirm or comment on Grand Jury matters,” said Bragg’s office.
Two sources familiar with the proceedings said the grand jury was canceled amid “major dissension” within the DA’s office. One of the sources told Fox News Digital that the district attorney is struggling to convince the grand jury of potential charges because of the “weakness” of the case.
Despite rumblings of a possibly imminent indictment, Trump has not been formally notified whether Bragg will bring charges against him.
Sources confirmed there remains a chance the Manhattan DA won’t choose to indict the former president.
When Bragg took the DA position in January 2022, the office halted pursuing charges against the former president and suspended the investigation “indefinitely,” according to one prosecutor who resigned in protest.
Prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, who led the investigation under former DA Cyrus Vance, submitted their resignations after Bragg began questioning and pursuing a case against former President Trump.
The potential charges stem from a $130,000 ‘hush-money payment’ that Michael Cohen, then Trump’s attorney, made to former stripper and adult porn star Stormy Daniels in weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
Daniels is not one of the final witnesses Bragg planned to call. According to her lawyer, Daniels has been asked to testify before the grand jury.
“In our conversations [with Bragg’s office], there’s been no definitive plan to be in New York to testify before the grand jury as it sits,” said Clark Brewster.
Federal prosecutors serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York decided not to charge former President Trump related to the payment, even following Cohen’s implicating Trump as part of his plea deal. The Federal Election Commission also discarded its investigation into the matter in 2021.
The lawyer paid Daniels $130,000 through his company, which Trump’s company later reimbursed. The company recorded the payments as “legal expenses.” Cohen maintains that Trump directed him to make the payments.
Former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, alleges she also had a relationship with Trump and received a $150,000 payment through the publisher of the National Enquirer, a supermarket tabloid.
According to federal prosecutors who filed criminal charges against Cohen in 2018, the Trump Organization “grossed up” Cohen’s reimbursement for Daniels’ payment for “tax purposes.”
Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing
Former President Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing concerning the payments made to Daniels and maintained that the payments were “not a campaign violation” but a “simple private transaction.”
Former legal adviser to Cohen, Robert Costello, appeared before the grand jury on Monday and testified that Cohen is a “serial liar.”
On Monday, Costello testified before the grand jury for over two hours. He testified that Trump did not know about Cohen’s payments to Daniels.
The Manhattan DA’s office investigation into Trump began in 2019 by Cyrus Vance, then-District Attorney. Initially, the case involved the financial dealings of Trump’s Manhattan properties, including Trump Tower, his flagship Fifth Avenue building, and the value of his 213-acre estate in Westchester, Seven Springs. The probe focused on possible insurance, tax, and bank fraud.
Last year, the investigation led to tax fraud charges against the Trump Organization and its finance chief, Allen Weisselberg.
Votes and grand jury deliberations are secret proceedings, and an indictment usually remains sealed until an arraignment.