NEW YORK (NewsNation) — A New York grand jury meeting that was supposed to take place Wednesday in regard to an investigation into former President Donald Trump has been postponed, a source confirmed to NewsNation.
The delayed meeting means a possible indictment in the Stormy Daniels hush money case won’t come down Wednesday. It’s still unclear whether the grand jury will hear from any additional witnesses in the case.
The grand jurors were told to be on standby for Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Wednesday’s development is just the latest example of a grand jury process that is intentionally shrouded in secrecy.
“Prosecutors are very quiet when it comes to this,” said Todd Belt, a professor at George Washington University. “They don’t want to taint any potential witnesses and they don’t want anyone who’s going to be served a subpoena or be indicted to know about it until absolutely the last minute.”
Trump had previously taken to social media and said he was going to be indicted on Tuesday but that didn’t happen.
Sources previously told NewsNation that Wednesday would be the earliest possible day for an indictment. Now, it could be later in the week, if at all.
If he is indicted, Trump could potentially be charged with falsifying business records connected to hush money payments during his 2016 campaign to women who accused him of “sexual encounters.”
There is a consensus that given how unprecedented the situation is — seeing as we have never before seen an indictment of a former president — the arraignment process would look anything but normal.
“I think he will be given the opportunity to appear and get fingerprinted, booked, have his mug shot taken and appear at an arraignment. But I don’t expect agents, whether they’re state or federal, to actually go arrest Donald Trump and drag him into court,” former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani said.
NewsNation legal analyst Jesse Weber said the reason it would be easy to get an indictment from the Manhattan grand jury is that it’s all the prosecution’s case, presenting all the evidence they have against Trump. They’re not going to have defense witnesses, and Weber said that the testimony of attorney Robert Costello calling into question witness Michael Cohen credibility, most likely won’t change the outcome of a possible indictment.
However, Weber said if a possible indictment does lead to a jury trial, then the jury will hear everything, including the questioning around the credibility of Cohen, Trump’s former fixer and lawyer.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and accused prosecutors of engaging in a politically motivated “witch hunt” to damage his campaign.
Weber said there is a fair argument that this case could be an attempt to politically destroy or harm Trump, explaining why this case is “incredibly weak.”
“Obviously, Michael Cohen, a problematic witness, there’s a problem of intent. There’s a problem of knowledge. I think the bigger shaky issue is how do you prove a felony in this case? … The question is, why is it being brought up right now? Why was it not brought back in the day?” Weber said.
Weber said the timing looks terrible, and with all of the other legal cases surrounding Trump, and the fact that it’s the first one coming forward, he said people are going to think this is political.
But an indictment wouldn’t stop Trump from continuing his campaign. There is no prohibition against running while facing criminal charges — or even following a conviction. Indeed, convicted felons have run for president before, including from behind bars.
The media presence around the courthouse has grown dramatically over the last few days.
Small crowds of protesters, both in support of and opposition to Trump, have also gathered outside the court. These demonstrations have been small and peaceful, with many New Yorkers chanting calls to arrest Trump and others, saying they’d like to see the district attorney focus on cleaning up the streets of New York.
Weber said his biggest concern is what it’s going to look like outside the Manhattan courthouse if Trump is indicted and arraigned. He thinks that is going to present a whole other set of problems.
A nearby courthouse received a bomb threat on Tuesday, which delayed testimonies in the area. It just so happens that another case involving the former president was taking place there.
The bomb threat was proven to be a hoax, and a spokesperson for that courthouse said they don’t believe the threats had anything to do with Trump. New York police confirmed they are increasing their presence in the area, but confirmed there was no credible threat.
The Associated Press and NewsNation writer Devan Markham contributed to this report.