Prosecutors investigating Trump asked witness to prepare for grand jury testimony

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The district attorney’s office, led by Cyrus Vance Jr., is investigating Trump, his real estate company, and company officials on a number of fronts, including examining tax returns of former presidents, questioning allowances paid to employees by the company And that way involves checking. The company held Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, responsible for the reimbursement.

Prosecutors are closely investigating the finances of the Trump Organization’s CFO Alan Weiselberg, as well as the benefits he and his son Barry received from the company, CNN has reported.

ABC was the first to report when a witness was contacted. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday That the grand jury Vance’s office has convened a special grand jury. This type of grand jury is commonly used for hearing complex, long-term fraud and corruption cases. A special grand jury sits longer than a standard grand jury – usually three to six months, versus just one – and, if necessary, juries can vote to extend their term even further.

Vance’s office declined to comment on Tuesday after the Washington Post reported. No office representative arrived on Wednesday. Trump’s lawyers, the Trump Organization, declined to comment.

CNN has reached out to Allen and Barry Weiselberg for comment.

There are currently five grand juries sitting in Manhattan. It is not clear how many special grand juries are sitting, but it is common that more than one person can be seated at a time.

According to former prosecutors in the office, the use of a special grand jury suggests that Vance Trump may seek to charge company officials or the company.

Daniel Alonso, a former prosecutor, chief assistant district attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, said, “It is very rare for a Manhattan grand court to have a special grand jury and not consider charges at some point for that jury.” Vance.

Adam S. Kauffman, who served as the head of the Office’s investigative division, said that “it really suggests that they have reached a point in their investigation where the district attorney believes There is evidence of guilt. You do not list a special grand jury unless you think you have a viable case. ”

Conducting grand juries of this type is common in complex cases such as the Trump investigation, because, unlike federal grand juries, prosecutors cannot present hearsay evidence to state grand juries.

This means that the prosecution should call the witnesses themselves and testify to the grand jury, instead asking the FBI agent or any other officer working on the case to summarize the evidence. It often takes longer than a standard grand jury allows to summon all witnesses in a large case.

The longer deadline also provides an opportunity to force witness testimony, a move Alonso said he would “absolutely expect” in a case such as the Trump investigation, because it would allow witnesses to be able to compare their version of events to anyone Forces to speak without. Of others.

“You want to close their testimony at a time where they don’t know what other evidence is,” he said.

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