OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump made a U-turn this week after slamming the Manhattan grand jury investigating a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
“I have gained such respect for this grand jury, & perhaps even the grand jury system as a whole,” Trump said in a post on Truth Social on Wednesday.
The post comes after Trump has slammed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for a “political witch hunt” and suggested that the jury could be tainted against him. Trump also declared earlier this month that he believed that Bragg’s office would have him arrested.
But on Wednesday, Trump delivered a more positive tone and said that he believes the grand jury is questioning the evidence put forward against him, adding he believes the evidence is “overwhelming” in his favor.
“The evidence is so overwhelming in my favor, & so ridiculously bad for the highly partisan & hateful district attorney, that the grand jury is saying, hold on, we are not a rubber stamp, which most grand juries are branded as being, we are not going to vote against a preponderance of evidence or against large numbers of legal scholars all saying there is no case here. drop this sick witch hunt, now!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
It was reported on Wednesday that the Manhattan grand jury will not hear evidence again for the rest of the month.
“The break would push any indictment of the former president to late April at the earliest, although it is possible that the grand jury’s schedule could change. In recent weeks, the Manhattan district attorney’s office hasn’t convened the panel on certain days. But it is District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prerogative to ask the grand jury to reconvene if prosecutors want the panel to meet during previously planned breaks,” Politico reported.
“The grand jury, which heard testimony in the Trump case on Monday, isn’t meeting Wednesday and is expected to examine evidence in a separate matter Thursday, the person said. The grand jury, which typically meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, is scheduled to consider another case next week on Monday and Wednesday, the person said, and isn’t expected to meet Thursday due to the Passover holiday,” the outlet added.
The most recent witness to testify was David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, who appeared before the grand jury on Monday.
“Pecker was a key player in the $150,000 “catch-and-kill” payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, in which the Enquirer bought the publishing rights to her claim that she — like Daniels — had an affair with Trump before he became president. The Enquirer never reported McDougal’s allegations but its parent company, American Media Inc., featured her in other publications. Trump has denied having sex with either woman and has denied any wrongdoing in connection with the payments to them,” according to the New York Post.
Manhattan District Attorney Bragg responded last week to a potential indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump. Bragg issued a vague statement that did not actually provide any information about what might happen next.
Bragg sent a letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee after they sent their own letter “demanding communications, documents, and testimony relating to Bragg’s unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority and the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump.”
In his letter, the Manhattan DA said his office will “publicly state the conclusion of our investigation—whether we conduct our work without bringing charges, or move forward with an indictment.”
Bragg also addressed the letter the House Judiciary Committee previously sent to his office and said, “Your letter dated March 20, 2023, (the ‘Letter’), in contrast, is an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution. The letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for a congressional inquiry.”
The Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence in the criminal investigation into Trump has taken many turns.
The indictment has triggered outrage from many given federal prosecutors in the U.S. attorneys office for the Southern District of New York chose not to charge Trump in 2019 related to the payment to Daniels.
The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
The DA’s reported decision also comes as Trump is running for president in 2024, which has led to some arguing that the investigation and charges are politically motivated.