It now appears that any indictment of former President Donald J. Trump would not come until next week at the earliest.
The grand jury hearing evidence about Mr. Trump’s role in a hush-money payment to a porn star typically does not consider the case on Thursdays and does not meet on Fridays, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
The Manhattan district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg has been questioning witnesses about the role Mr. Trump played in the payment to the porn star, Stormy Daniels, and there have been several signals that the prosecutors are nearing an indictment. Still, the exact timing of any charges remains unknown.
Although the special grand jury hearing evidence about Mr. Trump meets on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, it typically does not hear evidence about the Trump case on Thursdays, according to the person with knowledge of the matter. Special grand juries, which unlike regular grand juries sit for months at a time and hear complex cases, routinely consider several cases simultaneously.
None of the witnesses relevant to the hush-money matter have been seen going into the building where the jury sits on Thursdays. And what may appear to outside observers to be wild swings in the momentum of the investigation are most likely the routine stop and start of the New York grand jury process, either because of scheduling conflicts or other unexpected interruptions.
It is unclear whether Mr. Bragg’s office has completed its presentation of evidence to the grand jury, or if another witness might still testify. Scheduling that testimony could cause a brief delay in the proceedings.
Mr. Bragg’s office cannot seek charges if there are not enough grand jurors present: A majority of the 23-person panel must vote to indict. And for the prosecutors to go ahead with the vote, those in attendance that day must previously have been present for any key witness testimony, making the vote subject to the quirks of the jurors’ schedules.
Because the grand jury does not meet on Fridays, any indictment would not come until next week. Mr. Trump last week declared that he would be arrested Tuesday, raising expectations that remained high even after his prediction turned out to be inaccurate.
The district attorney’s prosecutors have been presenting evidence to a grand jury since January, and there have been a number of signals that jurors are likely to indict Mr. Trump soon. First, prosecutors told Mr. Trump’s lawyers that he could testify before the grand jury in his own defense last week, a right granted to people who are nearing indictment. (He declined.)
They have also questioned nearly every witness involved in the hush-money payment in front of the grand jury, including Michael D. Cohen, who paid the $130,000 to Ms. Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Mr. Trump later reimbursed Mr. Cohen, who said that he made the payment at the direction of Mr. Trump.
Mr. Cohen, who previously pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from the hush money, has also said that Mr. Trump helped cover up the payment, which is likely to be the accusation at the center of Mr. Bragg’s case.
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