Earlier this week I wrote that it was becoming clear why Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg opted to pursue this hush money case against Donald Trump, as opposed to the earlier tax fraud case that former Manhattan prosecutors had prepared against Trump. That earlier case would have basically come down to just one witness, Trump Organization official Jeff McConney. But the case that Bragg has gone with has numerous witnesses who can corroborate each other’s testimony. It means Trump’s defense attorneys can’t get an acquittal just by trashing the credibility of any one witness.
This was underscored when Michael Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis appeared on MSNBC at around midnight on Thursday night. Davis made the argument that any questions about Cohen’s credibility as a witness are irrelevant, but this indictment against Trump does not really hinge on Cohen’s testimony. Instead, Davis said that this case really comes down to “so much corroboration” in the still-sealed indictment that the public simply doesn’t know about yet.
Davis understandably declined to go into detail about what that corroboration is. We’ll all find out once the indictment is unsealed within days. But it’s a good reminder that because the grand jury process is entirely secret by default, we still only know pieces of the story. We know what individual witnesses have chosen to publicly reveal. We know that certain people were involved with the grand jury process because the media saw them entering or exiting the courthouse. And that’s not a lot to go on.
Just this evening it was revealed that a still-unidentified witness secretly testified to the grand jury on the same day the indictment came down. That’s how much we still don’t know yet about what this criminal indictment is built on. But we’ll all find out very soon.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report