Former President Donald Trump will not appear before the New York City grand jury investigating a hush-money payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina said Monday.
Trump's legal team met with the former president in Florida over the weekend. After the discussions, Trump decided not to sit for a meeting with the grand jury in Manhattan. The Manhattan district attorney's office convened the grand jury to look into the payment to Daniels, who alleges she slept with Trump before he became president.
NBC News reported Thursday that Trump had been invited to testify before the grand jury. The district attorney’s office has declined to comment on the matter. Tacopina said Friday that Trump's attorneys have "no plans" to meet with the district attorney's office.
“We are not convinced they will bring a case, but if so we will deal with it,” Tacopina said Friday.
Trump, who launched a 2024 presidential bid in November, called the probe a “Scam, Injustice, Mockery, and Complete and Total Weaponization of Law Enforcement in order to affect a Presidential Election!" in a weekend post on his Truth Social site. He claimed former longtime Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who died in 2019, would not have considered bringing charges against him in such a case. Trump has repeatedly denied having had an affair with Daniels.
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Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to making the illegal payment to Daniels, testified before the grand jury for more than three hours Monday afternoon. His attorney, Lanny Davis, said Cohen had "a long and productive afternoon" and is scheduled to resume his testimony Wednesday.
"We’re not going to make any comments about what he said other than to repeat what Michael has said — this is about accountability, and this is about facts and the truth. Period," Davis said.
Cohen has met with prosecutors more than 20 times, including Friday.
Cohen alleges that Trump ordered him to pay the hush money and that it was for the “principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election.
The grand jury probe is one of several investigations involving Trump. The Justice Department has appointed special counsel Jack Smith to oversee a criminal probe into Trump's potential mishandling of classified documents and his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by his supporters. A special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, recently completed its examination into whether Trump and his allies tried to interfere with the state's 2020 election results.