Trump will not appear before grand jury probing hush-money payment, lawyer says

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By Amit

Former president Donald Trump will not appear before the Manhattan grand jury probing a hush-money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina told NBC News on Monday.

Trump’s legal team met with the former president in Florida over the weekend. Following the discussions, the president decided not to sit for a meeting with the grand jury in New York. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office convened the grand jury to look into the payment made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who alleges she slept with Trump before he became president.

NBC News reported Thursday that Trump was invited to testify before the grand jury. The district attorney’s office has declined to comment on the matter. Tacopina said Friday that Trump’s attorneys have “no plans” to meet with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

“We are not convinced they will bring a case, but if so we will deal with it,” Tacopina said Friday.

Trump, who launched a 2024 presidential bid in November, called the probe a “Scam, Injustice, Mockery, and Complete and Total Weaponization of Law Enforcement in order to affect a Presidential Election!” in a weekend post on his Truth Social site. He claimed former longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who passed away in 2019, would not have considered bringing charges against him in such a case. Trump has repeatedly denied having an affair with Daniels.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to making the illegal payment to Daniels, is scheduled to appear before the grand jury Monday afternoon. He has met with prosecutors more than 20 times, as recently as Friday.

Cohen alleges that Trump ordered him to pay the hush money to Daniels, and that the payment was for the “principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election.

The grand jury probe is one of several investigations involving Trump. The Justice Department has appointed special counsel Jack Smith to oversee a criminal probe into Trump’s potential mishandling of classified documents and his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. A special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, recently completed its examination into whether Trump and his allies attempted to interfere with the state’s 2020 election results.

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