The possibility that former President Donald Trump, his business associates or his company could face criminal charges began to seem more real this week when the Washington Post broke the news that a grand special jury had empaned. lat in New York City to hear evidence from prosecutors investigating Trump’s trade relations.
The grand jury is expected to serve a six-month period, much longer than the one-month term of most grand juries. You will hear evidence gathered in an investigation that has been going on for two years and involved two Supreme Court decisions giving access to the tax return of the former president of the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
The length of the grand jury’s term indicates that prosecutors are preparing to present a complex and lengthy case, said Rebecca Roiphe, a New York Law School professor who previously served as a prosecutor in Manhattan.
This is the beginning of a trial, said Roiphe, which usually leads to criminal prosecution. “We’re unlikely to see any charges when this is over,” he said. Statewide data are hard to come by, but a Washington Post analysis by major federal juries in 2014 showed that they returned charges in 99.99% of cases.
What is a grand jury?
In the U.S. federal justice system, as well as in many states, including New York, a criminal charge is filed after a grand jury determines that there is a “probable cause” for believing that a person or entity has committed a criminal offense. .
A grand jury proceeding is not like a trial; no one represents the person suspected of a crime. The standard joke about grand juries in the U.S. is that the standard of proof is so low that a competent prosecutor could get a grand jury to charge for a ham sandwich.
FILE: Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. answers a question during a news conference in New York on May 10, 2018.
But, according to Roiphe, it’s important to note that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Cyrus Vance Jr., has tried not to bring court cases to trial. “They will not go to a grand jury with the minimum necessary to get an indictment,” he said. In addition, he noted, the rules of the New York Grand Jury are stricter than federal rules regarding evidence, making hearing testimony inadmissible.
Who is investigating Trump?
Vance, the son of former U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, had been studying Trump’s business practices for two years or more. Last week, New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that an independent investigation, originally of a civilian nature, had become a criminal investigation and that her office would share resources with Vance, joining is basically in both investigations.
The combined fiscal power of the Vance and James offices is being complemented by outside help. Vance took the unusual step of hiring Mark Pomerantz, a white-collar criminal defense attorney who served as head of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he led multiple crime investigations. organized high profile.
What do we know about research?
The details of the investigation are not public and Trump has struggled to discredit it.
“We’ve known for a long time that the district attorney’s office in Manhattan is investigating him for a number of possible criminal offenses, including tax fraud, insurance fraud, forgery of records and the like,” said attorney Danya Perry. who previously served as Deputy Attorney General in New York State and as Federal Attorney.
Trump’s son Eric Trump has been summoned to testify and there are reports that investigators are studying payments the Trump Organization made to his daughter Ivanka Trump and that they were canceled as consulting fees.
Who is Allen Weisselberg?
Prosecutors appear to be especially interested in Allen Weisselberg, the longtime CFO of the Trump Organization. Among other things, prosecutors are believed to be examining whether Weisselberg received compensation from Trump that was not notified to the Internal Ingredients Service.
It is speculated that the focus on Weisselberg is an effort to pressure him to reach an agreement with prosecutors that would secure his testimony against the former president.
Weisselberg, who worked for Trump’s father, Fred Trump, before Donald Trump took over the company, has been the chief financial officer since 2000.
Could Trump go to jail?
The former president is a private citizen and much of the activity being investigated took place before he took office, meaning his service as chief executive is no shield.