The New York Times dropping this absolute bombshell news that Donald Trump is quote likely to be indicted in New York well tonight Trump's lawyers acknowledge a key point in that account that the D.A has indeed invited Donald Trump to testify to the grand jury and this isn't hypothetical this isn't someday this is next week an invite to.
Testify next week according to Trump lawyers now they are in Florida over the weekend they're discussing strategy they're taking this as a real thing seriously they tell NBC News however they have no plans to meet with the Manhattan D.A Mr Bragg so let's get some clarity up top there are many stories we cover where we say.
Here's this thing and then here are people involved could be people in the Trump or the by Administration but they say well that's not the whole story or we disagree this isn't that kind of story right now tonight I could tell you there's no public debate about the escalation you don't just casually suggest a former.
President should pop down and tell the grand jurors stories about hush money payments this isn't some campaign documentary this isn't some Howard Stern interview this is a criminal grand jury and tonight Trump's lawyers confirm and agree and don't deny that they have been furnished with this invite for Trump to do that next week.
Now New York D.A Alvin Bragg is we believe only doing this as one of the last steps before what the times calls are likely indictment now in one of his few TV interviews since taking office Bragg did tell us that his approach to Trump probe was still open and he cautioned at the time against reading into any developments in one particular.
Case investigation is ongoing this is one chapter I cautioned people against reading ahead okay well that was then and the D.A appears to be in a new chapter right now legally Trump could address this grand jury but strategically everyone will advise him not to go in that's how Trump.
Aide put it the former president is already mounting a Public Defense casting the payment as actually a criminal plot by the person he paid he calls it quote extortion and attacks this probe is corrupt depraved and weaponizing the justice system now let me tell you this as a potential defendant Donald Trump.
Has every right to mount those defenses and counter-attacks whether that's in public or in court if it comes to that and while Donald Trump does lie a lot that has been established and reported out through all the fact checks we've seen on many topics and while Donald Trump has made frivolous arguments in court including many frivolous losing.
Cases after he lost the presidential race as a legal matter some of Trump's current defenses are potentially valid they are not what in the law we would call frivolous like beneath discussion Trump's lawyers can make the argument that the legal road to this 2016 campaign spending offense is sketchy.
That the New York DA's office recently had a prosecutor in a related probe leave in a clash and then publicly call for Trump's indictment they can make those and other challenges to the process and I'll get into that here a little bit more tonight on the other hand these prosecutors looking at potentially.
Indicting Trump have evidence and the literal receipts with Trump's signature on the check which is a type of receipt that he paid to Michael Cohen for what was then the secret payments now Cohen memorably did hard at time for several Federal offenses and we know he spoke to these New York investigators.
Repeatedly and the D.A recently who has brought in a slew of witnesses including one who popped up in the Muller probe that National Enquirer vet who actually brokered the deal with Stormy Daniels another one was Trump Confidant hope Hicks also facing this D.A and kellyanne Conway who helped run the Trump campaign at the critical time of.
These payments that are still clearly under review now those look like people who could speak to the payments but the D.A also has a separate case that convicted the entire Trump organization on the business side not the campaign side it's CFO now behind bars on Rikers Island so it was possible that the D.A was.
Looking at other leads linking money or political plots it was after the Trump or conviction I mentioned that Bragg actually joined us here on the beat I showed you a little bit of that I want to show it in context because we asked him about criminal liability for Trump himself why does it not lead to charging Donald.
Trump himself so you know as I said back in April in a statement the investigation is ongoing this is one chapter um I cautioned people against reading ahead we needed to focus on this uh and do what I thought the the public servants in my office a superb job they did in the courtroom that was.
The focus but as I said the investigation is ongoing that was December that was recent ongoing now there are words and then there are the more nuanced and wider strategies and technical items so let me put it like this because everything just seemed to change last night and we're just following it with you but things.
Can technically be ongoing but also winding down 2016 payments are not the most serious criminal liability that Trump has or the second most serious or even really the third quite frankly when Bragg said that it was ongoing it did not at the time strike many legal experts as a sign that it was headed.
Towards this ongoing probe would be barreling towards new headlines about a likely indictment so suddenly here we are and things look very different now as mentioned there was that other prosecutor hired to probe Trump by this DA's predecessor and he recently went public with his gripes about not.
Getting clearance to indict Trump he also impugned the current D.A Alvin Bragg on many points including the idea that allegedly Bragg had suspended indefinitely the Trump investigation which is not what it looks like right now depending on how you define it but if Donald Trump is invited to the grand jury and then charged well this thing.
Ain't all that suspended now when pomeranz joined us right here on the beat he was basically publicly campaigning for a trump indictment and he was walking right up to the legal line of what an ex prosecutor is allowed to do and I pressed him on whether he simply.
Didn't have the goods whether on the part he was working on which was a lot more about appraisals and real estate values although it may have overlapped with some of this and as I've always mentioned there's no way to fully prove that because so much of the grand jury process is supposed to be and does stay.
Secret so I pressed him on whether he just didn't build a strong enough case and why he should be the one to decide the public interest is it possible that all those people were essentially right and that you didn't have the case ready look the many Revolt first of all was on the issue of timing not under the issue of substance.
Can you talk about leaks when you were on the job you say for example press attention was an obstacle to getting things done as a prosecutor you are the one leaking in detail about this case uh while there's other stuff going on is that fair is this a good model in your view for justice in America sure let me speak to that first of all I want to.
Make it clear that when I was a prosecutor I never spoke to the Press period I resigned now I'm John Q public I'm a citizen I don't speak with the authority of the state behind me you decide that as an ex prosecutor what the public interest is I made the Judgment that it was in the public interest that's a veteran of the DA's office now.
Trump's lawyers can try to use some of that to Tar any potential charges if they come just as they can badly make the argument that as a finance and campaign spending case they'll argue this is a reach if Trump was trying to pay for silence as a person as a civilian and the remaining offenses boil down to what they would call accounting.
Debates and Donald Trump has certainly ducked other legal accountability with complex accounting now this is a big deal we're here gathered at a time where many people might say hey Ari I don't need the update I don't need the road if there are charges tell.
Me otherwise I'll believe it when I see it and that's fine it's a free country you don't have to follow every step of this but in journalism we do you saw me press one of the DA's vets there you saw me talk to the D.A himself we've been covering all of this and so in context I want to share with you if you're interested in sort of trying to keep our.
Arms and Minds around what kind of case this is on this program we've broken down other big cases in the Trump era like how strong those conspiracy cases were against the January 6 attackers and how there are slam dunk cases against Trump figures for impeding unofficial proceeding on January 6th the first bucket of those.
Cases including sedition cases they've been tried and won I mean they've ended in convictions the second bucket whether people like Mr Eastman or Mr Meadows will ever be charged for impeding a proceeding only the doj and Jack Smith know the answer to that but I'm telling you both those buckets legally are strong cases now is this New.
York case against Trump is it as strong as those no it is a novel case in some ways it's dated it has that complexity I mentioned so that could ultimately inform hesitance inside the DA's office over whether to even bring it now.
If no person is above the law and this is not the strongest case ever compared to other related issues in the Trump orbit the other question is is it a decent case is it winnable do people really get in trouble or go to jail for this kind of offense well tonight.
One way to answer that is ask Michael Cohen he already did and so a lot has happened you'd be forgiven for having all of our different legal Scandal memories get a little fuzzy these days Mr Cohen didn't just go to prison for this type of offense or a precedent of something like this Mr.
Cohen went to prison in America we all lived through it for this exact very payment for Donald Trump's benefit by Donald Trump because he ultimately provided the funds and he went to jail in the federal system for that now at that time under the rules whether you like them or not the rules.
Officially barred Federal prosecution of a sitting president so that's where that case ended but if lawyers like precedence that precedent is so on point Donald Trump has his own legal nickname from that conviction what I mention individual one whether individual one.
Moves from a old school nickname to a new term defendant in the case of the people of New York versus Donald Trump well as of this hour that's something only the New York D.A knows this is only he knows why he took this unprecedented step of offering Donald Trump the chance to face this criminal.
Grand jury next week which Trump's lawyers do not even dispute thank you
3 thoughts on “Trump on trial? ‘Seemingly’ legal charges has Trump fuming”
“Imperfect, corrupt, and weaponizing the justice system” is kind of all he says anymore
Key level is trump goes down at closing. He’ll have to beget been arrested in the sixties for being a draft dodger. For being a slum Lord landlord. For tax evasion, tax fraud, bank fraud, now for sedition, treason, riot and an attempted coup. Trump stole executive paperwork and I'm making a wager you'll receive her supplied some off them as neatly, he hid this paperwork and obstructed justice be refusing to return them. He planned, incited, lied, invited, instigated and completed a home terrorist attack and again coup. He interfered with Georgia's election, he tried to beget his VP murdered, he tried to be installed using untrue electors. He's achieved a lot damage to The United States.