The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, led by Cyrus Vance Jr., has been investigating former President Donald Trump, as well as his real estate company and company executives. The prosecutors are probing Trump’s tax returns, the employees’ perks, and how the company justified the reimbursements made to Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney. CNN reported that prosecutors have also been closely examining the finances of Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg and the benefits he and Barry, his son, received from the company.
The prosecutors recently told at least one witness to prepare for grand jury testimony, suggesting that the investigation is moving to an advanced stage. The development signals that the District Attorney’s office will transition from collecting evidence to presenting a complex case to a grand jury. Once presented, the jury could consider criminal charges
ABC was the first to report that the District Attorney’s office contacted a witness. On May 25, The Washington Post reported that Vance’s office convened a special grand jury, typically used to hear complex, long-term corruption and fraud cases. This type of jury usually sits for three-six months, unlike a standard jury that sits for a month. If need be, members of the special grand jury can also vote to extend the term. However, Vance’s office declined to comment after The Washington Post report.
About the special grand jury, Daniel Alonso, a former prosecutor and chief assistant district attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, said, “It’s very rare for there to be a special grand jury empaneled in Manhattan supreme court and for that jury not to consider charges at some point.” Convening this type of grand jury is common in such complex cases because prosecutors can’t present hearsay evidence to a state grand jury, unlike with a federal grand jury.