NYC prosecutor convenes second grand jury to weigh possible Trump Organization charges, report says

Source says new grand jury will examine how company values assets

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 04 November 2021 22:36
Trump Investigation Evidence Will Be Heard by New Grand Jury
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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr has convened a second long-term grand jury to consider evidence about financial practices at the Trump Organization, a report says.

Sources with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post that the jury could potentially vote on criminal charges.

A previous grand jury, convened in the spring in the city, handed down felony indictments against two Trump companies and longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. They were charged with tax evasion and have pleaded not guilty.

It is unclear if the same jury continues to hear evidence about the Trump Organization.

The new grand jury will meet three days a week for six months, sources tell the Post, with the first evidence being presented on Thursday.

One source says that they will examine how the company values its assets – a core issue to the investigations into the organisation, and one separate from the previous tax evasion focus.

A new grand jury does not necessarily mean that any further Trump executives or businesses will be charged; that will depend on how the jury interprets the evidence presented.

To date, former President Donald Trump and his family members connected to the Trump Organization business have not been charged with any crimes.

The Independent contacted the Trump Organization for comment. In the past, the family has been critical of the investigation into their businesses by the Manhattan DA, and the separate civil inquiry by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The attorney general’s investigation has shared information and lawyers with Mr Vance’s criminal probe.

Both investigations are looking at allegations that the company misled banks, insurance firms, or tax authorities by manipulating the value of its assets in order to get favorable loan rates or to lower tax liabilities – an allegation first raised by Mr Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen.

The new grand jury will outlast the current district attorney Mr Vance, whose term in office finishes at the end of the year. Newly elected Alvin Bragg will then taker over as DA. Ms James will also be running for New York governor in 2022.

Proceedings of the second grand jury will take place at Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan, usually where disputes over the estates of the deceased are heard.

New York’s criminal courts are booked up by a surge of post-pandemic trials that were delayed by the coronavirus.

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