Pro IQRA News Updates.
Local, state and federal law enforcement and security agencies are preparing for the possible indictment of former President Donald J. Trump next week, according to five senior officials familiar with the discussions.
Officials said law enforcement agencies are conducting initial security assessments, discussing potential security plans in and around the Manhattan criminal courthouse at 100 Center Street in the event Trump is charged in connection with an alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and travels to New York to face any charges.
Officials stress that the interagency talks and planning are precautionary in nature because no charges have been filed.
The agencies involved include the New York Police Department, New York state court personnel, the US Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, officials say.
NBC News has reached out to all of those agencies for comment, all of which have declined to comment.
News Thursday that the Manhattan District Attorney has called Trump to testify before a grand jury next week indicated that prosecutors are serious about pressing charges in an investigation that seemed like yesterday’s news just a few months ago. Reporting by News 4’s chief investigative correspondent, Jonathan Dienst.
Prosecutors have been investigating since Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, admitted in 2018 that he paid Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 presidential election to silence her allegations about an alleged sexual encounter between the two years earlier.
Trump, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 and has indicated he would do so even if indicted on criminal charges, denied having sex with Daniels. But Cohen was reimbursed for the amount she paid the adult film actress. Manhattan prosecutors have been looking into whether any state laws were violated in connection with those payments or how Trump’s company compensated Cohen for keeping Daniels’ allegations silent.
Paid $130,000 in 2016, Trump’s first presidential campaign was in its final weeks and Daniels was negotiating to appear on television to air her allegations of a sexual encounter with him a decade earlier. Cohen made the payment and arranged another payment to another woman — at Trump’s direction, he says.
Trump and his lawyers have said he was blackmailed into paying Daniels and should be considered the victim in the investigation. Daniels and the attorneys who helped arrange the payment deny extorting anyone.
Friday’s developments come two days after Daniels’ attorney said she had met with prosecutors about the case and said she would testify. Cohen spent more than two days testifying before a grand jury earlier this week. On Wednesday he emerged from his second day of testimony saying he would continue to cooperate with prosecutors and provide them with any information they “need”.
The former president’s current attorney said Trump had been invited to testify before the grand jury but had no plans to do so.
His attorney also said Trump would follow normal procedures in surrendering to face criminal charges if indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.
“He would follow normal procedures if it got to that point,” Joseph Tacubina told CNBC late Friday when asked what Trump would do if that possibility became a reality.
Federal prosecutors in 2018 charged Cohen with campaign finance offenses related to payments to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougall, arguing that the payments were improper gifts for Trump’s campaign efforts.
False business records can be a misdemeanor under state law, or a felony if the business papers were tampered with in connection with a more serious crime.
Cohen pleaded guilty, served time in prison, and was disbarred. Federal prosecutors have not charged Trump with any crime.