Michael Cohen’s grand jury testimony is on, as final piece of Donald Trump indictment puzzle falls into place
After the news broke earlier this week that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg had informed Donald Trump that he was “likely” (translation: 100% definitely) being criminally indicted and that it could come as soon as next week, questions surfaced about precisely when the indictment would come down. My advice was to watch for news about Michael Cohen testifying to the grand jury.
Why does that particular detail matter? Cohen is, by all accounts, the star witness in this case. He’s met with the DA’s office about this case roughly twenty times. And the star witness, who was closest to the crime committed, generally testifies to the grand jury last. Previous witnesses have already laid the groundwork for Cohen’s testimony, by corroborating it in advance, so to speak. Then Cohen tells the grand jury his story, after the grand jury has already been given enough to know that what Cohen is saying is true, and that’s the end of the case.
Now the New York Times is reporting that Michael Cohen is set to testify to the grand jury next week. The precise day of Cohen’s testimony isn’t being provided. But if Cohen is indeed the final witness, that’s it. The DA can give the grand jury a closing statement, but then it’s a simple matter of the DA asking the grand jury to indict. And if the grand jury members all agree to the indictment without the need for deliberation, then the process is over.
This isn’t like in Fulton County, where a special grand jury delivered indictment recommendations, but now the prosecutor is putting those recommendations in front of a regular grand jury so it can sign off on the indictments. In Manhattan, the DA has been putting this case in front of the grand jury that will spit out the indictment once the last witness has testified.
So now we know why the Manhattan DA told Donald Trump that he could be indicted as soon as next week. Michael Cohen, the apparent final witness, is testifying next week. If he’s testifying in the first half of next week, it’ll be entirely reasonable to expect that the indictment would happen in the second half of next week.
In any case, if you’re looking to figure out the precise day that Trump will be indicted, continue to keep an eye out for major media reports that either confirm Cohen has testified, or narrow down the specific day he’ll be testifying. That’ll continue to be our best guidepost for figuring out precisely when the Trump indictment in Manhattan will happen.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report