SDNY Convenes a Grand Jury, Speculation Ensues
This sounds like a lot of maybe-potentially-this-time-for-reals and not a lot of substance but we will see how it plays out:
Manhattan’s district attorney has convened the grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict former president Donald Trump, other executives at his company or the business itself, should prosecutors present the panel with criminal charges, according to two people familiar with the development.
The panel was convened recently and will sit three days a week for six months. It is likely to hear several matters — not just the Trump case — during its term, which is longer than a traditional New York state grand-jury assignment, these people said. Like others, they spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation. Generally, special grand juries such as this are convened to participate in long-term matters rather than to hear evidence of crimes charged routinely.
The move indicates that District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s investigation of the former president and his business has reached an advanced stage after more than two years. It suggests, too, that Vance thinks he has found evidence of a crime — if not by Trump, by someone potentially close to him or by his company.
Vance’s investigation is expansive, according to people familiar with the probe and public disclosures made during related litigation. His investigators are scrutinizing Trump’s business practices before he was president, including whether the value of specific properties in the Trump Organization’s real estate portfolio were manipulated in a way that defrauded banks and insurance companies, and if any tax benefits were obtained illegally through unscrupulous asset valuation.
The district attorney also is examining the compensation provided to top Trump Organization executives, people familiar with the matter have said.
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Trump called the seating of the grand jury “a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in American history.”