A law enforcement source told Fox News Monday that authorities do not expect former President Donald Trump to face arraignment until next week as a Manhattan grand jury — which has been meeting secretly over allegations of hush money paid to a porn start to silence claims of an affair with Trump years ago — apparently has another witness on Wednesday.
Fox also reported that a virtual option was apparently ruled out because Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg opposed it.
As reported by the news site on Monday evening, the source said law enforcement is concerned about safety. If Trump comes to Manhattan for the proceedings, there will be a substantial police presence and area shutdowns.
Indeed, Trump has called on his supporters to protest ahead of a possible indictment. And despite some Republicans' efforts to counter that with calls for peace or peaceful assembly, workers were busily putting in place barricades in key areas including outside Trump Tower in Manhattan.
The grand jury has been probing Trump's alleged role in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 — during the presidential election — to the porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she claims to have had with him several years earlier. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels through a shell company; he was later reimbursed by Trump, and the Trump Organization classified the repayments as legal expenses.
The matter has previously failed to gain any traction with either federal prosecutors or the Federal Election Commission. Trump and his allies, who've branded the entire matter a witch hunt, have alleged that the Manhattan DA is acting out of political motives, and specifically with the intent to damage Trump's plans to seek reelection to the White House in 2024.
Two days ago, Trump took to social media to say he expected to be arrested on Tuesday by the "corrupt" district attorney's office, and he urged followers to protest on his behalf.
But then the timeline grew fuzzier as a lawyer allied with Trump was being scheduled to testify Monday before a New York grand jury, giving the former president an indirect opportunity to make a case that he shouldn't face criminal charges.
Robert Costello was asked to appear by the Manhattan district attorney's office after he said he had information raising questions about the credibility of Michael Cohen.
The New York Times said that Costello, a former legal adviser to Cohen, had this to say after his testimony: "I told the grand jury that this guy couldn't tell the truth if you put a gun to his head."
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