NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880) -- Donald Trump could soon be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in a case connected to a 2016 “hush money” payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels, allegedly on Trump’s behalf. Law enforcement agencies like the NYPD and Secret Service have been planning meticulously for Trump’s possible arrest. Barricades are up outside Manhattan Criminal Court and Trump Tower. The indictment of a former president would be unprecedented in U.S. history, and authorities are preparing for protests and any other outcome.
THURSDAY, MARCH 23
6:20 p.m. - NY Rep. Elise Stefanik fundraises for Trump against 'the the greatest political persecution in our nation's history.'
House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, one of Trump's closest allies in the House, accused the DA's investigation of being a "phony" witch hunt in a fundraising email sent out Thursday, "DEMANDING" DA Alvin Bragg testify before Congress.
"Which is why as one of President Trump’s biggest supporters and the most senior Republican member of Congress from New York, I am DEMANDING this corrupt prosecutor testify before Congress under oath to answer for his politically charged witch hunt," she said.
4:15 p.m. - Trump Manhattan grand jury hearing other matters Thursday: report
The Manhattan grand jury investigating Donald Trump over hush money payments met on other matters Thursday, further delaying a vote on whether or not to indict the former president, a source told the Associated Press.
There was no immediate explanation from prosecutors about why the grand jury was not taking up the Trump matter during its scheduled Thursday session after not meeting at all on Wednesday. There also was no word on when or if prosecutors might resume presenting evidence or ask for a decision on bringing historic criminal charges.
The panel is an investigative grand jury, meaning it hears other cases beyond the one focused on hush money paid on Trump's behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign to a porn actor who says she had a sexual encounter with him years earlier.
2:00 p.m. - Trump says the Manhattan DA's Office is in 'Total disarray'
Donald Trump continued to blast Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg and his office on his Truth Social platform, saying it's in "Total disarray."
"Tremendous dissension and chaos because they have NO CASE, and many of the honest people in the Office know it, and want to do the right thing," he added.
The former president also praised longtime former DA Bob Morgenthau, despite the fact that, according to a New York Times op-ed, when Morgenthau was asked who his "greatest fear" was before he died in 2019, the then-99-year-old responded, "Trump."
"Think back to the Late, Great, Bob Morgenthau, the best ever, and know what he would have done," Trump said. "JUSTICE FOR ALL!"
12:30 p.m. – Trump says Manhattan DA is in cahoots with 'the Devil'
Donald Trump lashed out against Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg on his Truth Social platform, calling the prosecutor a “danger to our Country” who is “doing the work of Anarchists and the Devil.” He accused the D.A. of “trying to find anything on ‘Trump.’”
In a series of posts, he also attacked New York Attorney General Letitia James, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Atlanta D.A. Fani Willis and special counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing two other criminal investigations involving Trump, one looking at the mishandling of classified documents and the other, Trump's role in the U.S. Capitol riot.
Responding to critics earlier this week, Bragg's office issued a statement, saying in part, "In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth."
11 a.m. – Manhattan DA: Trump “created a false expectation” of his imminent arrest
In a letter to House Republicans on Thursday, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office said Donald Trump "created a false expectation that he would be arrested" earlier this week.
Trump said on his Truth Social platform on Saturday that he expected to be arrested Tuesday in the case, prompting the Republican chairmen of three House committees to rally around him and send a letter to Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg seeking information about his actions in the Trump case, which they characterized as an “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.”
In their letter, the Republicans requested testimony as well as documents and copies of any communications with the Justice Department.
"The letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry," reads the five-page response from the D.A.
Bragg slammed the congressional request as "an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty.” The response provided a rare insight into what has remained a secret grand jury process.
10 a.m. – Grand jury not expected to meet again on Trump case this week: reports
The grand jury in the Trump "hush money" investigation is unlikely to reconvene in the case for the remainder of the week, according to multiple reports Thursday.
The grand jury will meet in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, but they’ll be looking at a different case, which is not unusual for grand jurors to do, multiple sources told both ABC News, NBC News and CNN.
The grand jury is expected to reconvene in the Trump case on Monday at the earliest.
Jurors have been meeting Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but they were asked to stay home on Wednesday for an unknown reason. They were expected to hear from another witness that day, but it’s unclear who it is.
The Manhattan D.A. declined comment to the reporting outlets.
9:30 a.m. - Alvin Bragg arrives at Manhattan D.A.'s Office
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was spotted heading into the Manhattan D.A.'s Office in Lower Manhattan on Thursday morning as the grand jury is expected to reconvene.
Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran was also seen entering the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan on Thursday morning, according to Politico reporter Kyle Cheney, who noted his visit may be related to “other grand jury matters connected to Trump.”
On Wednesday, a federal appeals court in a sealed order directed Corcoran to turn over to prosecutors documents in the investigation into the former president's retention of classified records at his Florida estate.
7 a.m. – Grand jury expected to reconvene Thursday
The grand jury in the Manhattan D.A.’s Trump investigation is expected to report back to work Thursday after their Wednesday session was unexpectedly called off by prosecutors. It wasn’t immediately clear why Wednesday’s meeting—when another witness was set to testify—was postponed. Sources told the Associated Press it wasn’t connected to security concerns.
The grand jurors were told to be on standby for Thursday, the sources said. Despite the break, jurors appear to be nearing a decisive vote on whether or not to indict Trump.
The panel has been probing Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump years earlier.
Trump has denied the claim, insisted he did nothing wrong and assailed the investigation, led by Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, as politically motivated. At last check, Trump remained in Florida on Thursday.
6 a.m. – All quiet at Trump Tower on Thursday morning
Trump Tower was quiet Thursday morning as police continued to monitor social media for potential protests. The NYPD, Secret Service, Homeland Security and other agencies have been preparing for any outcome when the grand jury votes to either indict or not indict the former president. Grand jurors are expected to return to work Thursday; if they don’t come to a decision that day, they won’t be back until next week, sources said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.