Trump created arrest hoax, Republicans messed with probe into Stormy Daniels hush money case: Manhattan DA

The Manhattan prosecutors have said former US President Donald Trump created rumours about his arrest and prompted fellow Republicans to meddle with the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

New York,UPDATED: Mar 24, 2023 07:37 IST

Former US President Donald Trump. (Photo: File)

By India Today World Desk: Manhattan prosecutors have said former US President Donald Trump misled people to believe that he would be arrested this week and prompted fellow Republicans to meddle with the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

Last Saturday, the former president said he would be arrested on Tuesday during the probe by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Three Republican chairmen of committees in the US House of Representatives launched an attack on District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, accusing him of misusing his prosecutorial power and requesting communications, documents, and testimony from him. As of Wednesday, no indictment was issued by the grand jury hearing evidence in the Stormy Daniels case, and on Thursday, Bragg’s office sent a letter to the committee chairmen, which was accessed by Reuters.

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The letter stated that the accusations made by the chairmen “only emerged after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene.” It confirmed that Bragg’s office was investigating “allegations that Donald Trump violated New York State’s penal law.”

If charged, Trump would be the first US president to face criminal charges. Despite facing legal challenges on various fronts, including federal investigations into his handling of government documents after leaving office and alleged attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, as well as a state-level investigation in Georgia into his alleged unlawful efforts to overturn the 2020 election results there, Trump has announced that he will continue to campaign for the presidency if charged with a crime.

On Thursday, Bragg’s office responded, stating that the three Republican House committee chairmen had requested non-public information regarding a confidential pending criminal investigation, which is protected under state law.

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“The letter’s requests are an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty,” said the letter signed by the district attorney’s general counsel, Leslie Dubeck. “Congress cannot have any legitimate legislative task relating to the oversight of local prosecutors enforcing state law.”

The grand jury comprising Manhattan-based US citizens convened in January and their proceedings are kept confidential with prosecutors prohibited from disclosing any information. Although there were reports in the media that the grand jury would not be taking up the case on Thursday, it was not anticipated to convene again until at least next week. Possible criminal charges loom over former US President Donald Trump for allegedly concealing hush payments made to retired porn actress Stormy Daniels.

The actress claims to have had sexual relations with Trump and received $130,000 from his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, before the 2016 election, in exchange for her silence regarding the incident. Cohen was subsequently imprisoned on various charges.

Trump has denied any sexual involvement with Daniels since the allegations were made public in 2018.

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