Manhattan DA informs Donald Trump he’s being criminally indicted as soon as next week

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Yesterday, someone close to the Manhattan DA’s office hinted to a reporter that Donald Trump should beware the Ides of March – a reference to next Wednesday, March 15th. At the time, I said that if this really was coming from the Manhattan DA, he would likely soon follow it up by leaking key details of the indictment to a major newspaper. Well, that just happened.

The New York Times is now reporting that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has informed Donald Trump that he’s “likely” to be criminally indicted, and that it’ll happen as soon as next week. And Bragg is now giving Trump the opportunity to immediately come in and testify in his defense, if Trump wants to try to convince the DA of his innocence.

So here we are. This is the confirmation that I told you last night that you should watch out for in the coming days. The Manhattan DA pretty clearly wants the media to spend the next week doing stories preparing the public for Trump’s indictment, and reminding and educating the public on the crimes that Trump committed in relation to this case. That way, by the time the indictment drops next week, the DA will have already gone a long way to having the public supporting what he’s doing with this case.

To be clear, Bragg wouldn’t be putting this out there in the media unless he’s already 100% decided to have Trump indicted. He has to say that the indictment is “likely” because technically speaking the DA doesn’t bring the indictments, the grand jury does. But that’s all a formality. Realistically speaking, you can remove the word “likely” from this discussion entirely. Trump is being indicted.

It’s also extremely unlikely that Trump will testify in his own defense ahead of indictment. Given his lack of discipline, his testimony would only make the indictment that much stronger, and help guarantee his conviction at trial. Bragg is surely only offering Trump this opportunity so that when Trump insists at trial that he was railroaded, Bragg can point out to the jury that he invited Trump in to defend himself, and Trump refused.

Nor can Trump somehow “run out the clock” by pretending he’s going to testify and then not testifying. What would that buy him, a day or two? The doomsday pundits will insist that Trump is magically going to get out of this indictment by pretending like he’s going to testify, but that’s just not a real thing.

So which day will Trump be indicted? Based on everything that’s come out publicly thus far, Michael Cohen – the star witness and likely the final witness – is set to testify to the grand jury on an unknown day next week. Best guess is that whatever day Cohen testifies, the indictment will happen the next day. So keep an eye out for any news reporting about Cohen’s testimony schedule, as that should provide the final clue to the puzzle.

Questions will arise about the trial date, but let’s be clear. The trial date will be set in accordance with the New York court system’s calendar and availability, not based on Donald Trump waving some magic wand that allows him to delay his trial for as long as he likes. That’s not a real thing, no matter how many times the doomsday pundits are about to claim that it’s a real thing.

In the meantime, today is a day to celebrate. We’ve spent a long time tracking the slow but steady incremental progress that prosecutors have been making toward criminally indicting Donald Trump. We’ve always been on this path. There was never a single day where Trump was on any other path. But it has taken a long time. And now it’s here. Donald Trump is being criminally indicted next week – and that’s just the first jurisdiction that’s indicting him. Let the games begin.

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