Not so fast. A New York grand jury will hear a final surprise witness on Monday and won’t vote on the indictment against Trump until it’s over.

  • A grand jury in Manhattan will continue hearing evidence Monday in the Trump money laundering investigation.

  • The last witness must testify before the panel can discuss and then vote on a possible charge.

  • Monday is the earliest Trump could be indicted, although the charges will be immediately sealed.

A possible “hush money” indictment of Donald Trump has been delayed until the final witness testifies before a Manhattan grand jury Monday afternoon.

“There is another witness,” a source familiar with the investigation told Insider on Saturday night.

The source spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to disclose details of the grand jury proceedings.

The source declined to identify the witness, whose testimony will conclude a two-month grand jury presentation by prosecutors led by District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Another source, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, told Insider that the witness was not Alan Weiselberg, Trump’s former finance director, who is serving a five-month sentence for allegedly orchestrating a payroll tax avoidance scheme at the Trump Organization.

News of Monday’s grand jury witness was first reported by CNN.

Former Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen — the prosecution’s star witness for his admitted role in funneling a $130,000 illegal payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election — told reporters that was expected to be the final grand jury witness when he testified last Monday and Wednesday.

The surprising latest witness provides an updated lead on the timing of a possible indictment of Trump and all co-defendants.

The grand jury, which sits in secret in an office building in lower Manhattan, meets only to hear testimony during three-hour afternoon sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Its members – between 16 and 23 in number – could probably come to a vote by the end of Monday’s three-hour session.

But that would be unlikely. Experts who have described the Manhattan grand jury process to Insider say there are several steps between the final testimony and the vote.

After testimony is finished, prosecutors will “charge” the jury, meaning they will go through the potential counts of the indictment one by one, explaining each count in the potential indictment.

Sources have told Insider they expect the highest count to be falsification of business records in the first degree, a low-level felony in which Trump and all the other defendants are alleged to have falsified documents to cover up another crime, such as the omission of $130,000 from campaign finance reports.

Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing or connection to Daniels and called the prosecution “a fraud, an injustice, a mockery and a complete and utter weapon of law enforcement to influence the presidential election!”

After the arraignment is complete, the prosecutor, court clerk, and stenographer leave the room and the grand jury begins deliberations.

If 12 or more vote to impeach, the presenter will be given the paper indictment to sign, at which point the former president will be formally, albeit secretly, indicted.

The hard copy indictment will then be taken to the nearest office where it will be filed under seal. It will be unsealed at Trump’s impeachment, although Bragg may ask a judge to unseal it sooner given the high public interest.

That’s a lot of activity to fit into three hours; if the trial is incomplete, grand jurors may return Wednesday afternoon to continue working.

Earlier on Saturday, Trump was “truthful” that he “will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” telling supporters to “Protest, take our nation back!” But that point, already challenged by his lawyer, could never work given the new final witness.

The panel has heard a steady stream of witnesses so far, including Cohen. Former Trump advisers Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway also appeared.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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