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Donald Trump could soon face criminal charges as prosecutors convene grand jury

Emma Powys Maurice May 27, 2021
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Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump in the East Room of the White House on January 24, 2020 (Drew Angerer/Getty)

The clock is ticking for Donald Trump as prosecutors convene a special grand jury to consider evidence in a criminal investigation of his business dealings.

The grand jury was called by Manhattan’s district attorney Cyrus Vance, indicating that he believes he has found evidence of a crime by the former president or someone close to him or by his company, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

“The panel was convened recently and will sit three days a week for six months,” the publication said, citing two unnamed people who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“It is likely to hear several matters – not just the Trump case ­– during the duration of its term, which is longer than a traditional New York state grand-jury assignment, these people said.”

A special grand jury sits for several months longer than a standard grand jury and is typically used to hear complex, long-term fraud and corruption cases.

The development signals that the district attorney’s investigation is increasing momentum as it transitions from collecting evidence towards seeking charges against the former homophobe-in-chief.

“The prosecutors are convinced they have a case. That’s at least how I read it,” Rebecca Roiphe, a former Manhattan prosecutor, told the Washington Post.

“It’s very rare for there to be a special grand jury empaneled in Manhattan supreme court and for that jury not to consider charges at some point,” agreed Daniel Alonso, a former prosecutor who was chief assistant district attorney in the Manhattan district attorney’s office under Vance.

Vance’s two-year investigation covers a variety of alleged crimes, including hush-money payments paid to women on Trump’s behalf, property valuations and employee compensation.

The probe is also scrutinising Trump’s relationship with his lenders, a land donation he made to get an income tax deduction, and tax write-offs his company claimed on millions of dollars in consulting fees it paid.

Trump, as always, has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement he claimed the investigation was “a witch hunt” and “an affront to the almost 75 million voters who supported me in the presidential election”.

In a clear sign he’s growing ever more detached from reality, he went on to tout an unnamed poll “indicating I’m far in the lead for the Republican presidential primary and the general election in 2024”.

Trump’s aides say “he’s missing being president terribly” and gets very irritated when people question whether he is seriously considering another run, according to Politico.

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