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    Friday, April 19, 2024

    N.Y. grand jury hearing Trump case adjourns without vote

    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his office in New York, late Monday, March. 27, 2023. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)
    News media members wait outside the Louis J. Lefkowitz State Office Building at 80 Centre St. in New York City on Monday, March 27, 2023. A grand jury is investigating former President Donald Trump over hush money payments inside. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

    NEW YORK - A Manhattan grand jury considering possible criminal charges against Donald Trump, involving $130,000 paid to an adult film actress before the 2016 election, adjourned Monday without voting on whether to indict the former president, multiple people familiar with the case said.

    Also Monday, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, David Pecker, was seen leaving the building where the grand jury was meeting with his attorney Elkan Abramowitz. Pecker, who reportedly testified before the grand jury in January, was involved in arranging the payment.

    The people who provided information on the case spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential process.

    The secret proceedings are expected to continue Wednesday. Prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg have presented evidence related to payments made to Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford. The payments were made to keep her from going public during the presidential campaign with a claim that she had a sexual relationship with Trump years earlier.

    Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels the $130,000. Trump reimbursed him in installments that were allegedly designated as legal fees.

    Bragg is believed to be considering charges related to the payments that would include falsifying business records, possibly in commission of another campaign-related crime. It is up to Bragg, a Democrat, to decide whether to ask the grand jury to vote on charging Trump, a Republican. Trump has denied wrongdoing and called the probe politically motivated.

    The probe began in 2019 under Bragg's predecessor Cyrus R. Vance Jr. Investigators have examined Trump's business practices and last year won a tax fraud conviction against the Trump Organization, which was ordered to pay $1.6 million in fines, the maximum allowed by state law.

    While the grand jury is expected to reconvene midweek, it is possible that the panel will hear other matters that aren't related to the Trump probe.

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