For at least a year, the Manhattan District Attorney has had a grand jury empaneled against Donald Trump; we all learned of its existence when it subpoenaed Trump’s tax returns. Grand juries exist to criminally indict people, and since Trump is clearly the target, he’s getting indicted – but when?
Trump can’t stop state charges or indictments from being brought against him. But it would have been difficult, and probably logistically impossible, for New York to arrest Donald Trump while he was still in office. Now that he’s lost, the big question has been when New York will indict him. Such things are generally preceded by a ramp-up in grand jury activity, and sure enough, that’s now happening.
The New York Times is now reporting that in recent weeks, the Manhattan DA has been putting employees from Deutsche Bank and insurance broker Aon in front of the grand jury. This means that they’re going to indict Trump for crimes along the lines of bank fraud, mortgage fraud, and insurance fraud.
Keep in mind that grand juries basically always indict on these kinds of straightforward charges, and trial juries nearly always convict on these kinds of charges. From the time the New York grand jury became public knowledge, it was clear that Donald Trump was going to prison if he lost the election, because he can’t pardon himself on state charges.
Even with the New York probe ramping up, that doesn’t necessarily mean Trump will be indicted and arrested the minute he leaves office. The grand jury is still waiting for other pieces of evidence, such as Trump’s federal tax returns. Prosecutors can indict Trump now on the banking and insurance fraud, and then bring a superseding indictment on the tax fraud later, or they can wait and bring all the indictments at once. We don’t know what path they’ll take. We also don’t know which, if any, other Trump family members are being targeted by this grand jury. But we now know that it’s ramping up at just the right time, with Trump being available for arrest in just about six weeks.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report