- by theguardian
- 09 May 2023
Donald Trump is bracing for his most legally perilous week since he left the White House, with the Manhattan district attorney likely to bring criminal charges against him over his role in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels, as he huddled this weekend to strategize his legal and political responses.
The grand jury in New York hearing evidence in the resurrected 2016 hush money case is now expected to hear from one more witness on Monday, making it unlikely that an arrest would come the following day because it could take additional hours to draft charging papers.
Trump discussed the hush money case every day last week, and his advisers say they have run through various scenarios in the event of an indictment, including whether he would initially travel to New York for an arraignment, or appear remotely from his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Trump has expressed interest in appearing in person at the Manhattan criminal court, where he believes he can turn proceedings into a spectacle before a gaggle of reporters, sources said, and raised the prospect on Saturday afternoon as he travelled to Oklahoma for an NCAA wrestling championship.
But some members of his legal team have advised against making such an appearance in person, citing security issues among other concerns, and have suggested he allow them to negotiate an agreed-upon surrender date and a remote initial appearance when they are notified of charges.
The investigation concerns $130,000 that Trump made to Daniels through his then lawyer Michael Cohen in the final days of the 2016 campaign. Trump later reimbursed Cohen with $35,000 checks using his personal funds, and Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges involving the hush money.
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