Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday criticized reports that a special grand jury had been called to hear evidence against the Trump Organization, calling it “a continuation of the greatest witch hunt in American history.”
“It’s purely political and an affront to the nearly 75 million voters who backed me in the presidential election, and it’s being driven by highly partisan Democratic prosecutors,” the former president said in a statement. .
The impending presentation of evidence by New York prosecutors against Trump’s cases, first reported by The Washington Post, citing two people familiar with the development, indicates that the criminal investigation into the former president has entered a new phase.
The panel was recently convened by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and will also hear evidence in other cases, the sources told the Post. The district attorney did not confirm the reports.
Manhattan office DA Cyrus Vance has been investigating various allegations of financial impropriety against Trump’s company for about two years. Court documents show Vance is investigating “potentially widespread and prolonged criminal conduct within the Trump Organization,” which could include falsification of business records, insurance fraud and tax evasion.
Vance began investigating the company and its senior executives after it was revealed that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $ 130,000 to keep quiet about her claim she had sex with Trump, an allegation he denied.
Cohen also alleged in testimony to Congress that the Trump organization sometimes lied about its financial situation to evade tax or obtain favorable loan terms.
Daniel R. Alonso, a former senior Vance deputy who is now a white-collar defense attorney, said summoning a special grand jury usually means that “it is very likely that they will lay charges. against someone ”.
It also allows prosecutors to subpoena witnesses to testify before the panel, Alonso said.
The DA’s investigation appeared to gain momentum in recent weeks, with New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office acknowledging it was helping Vance’s office.
James’ office had conducted a criminal investigation into the personal taxes of Allen Weisselberg, the Trump organization’s longtime chief financial officer, an official close to the investigation said.