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LEVELED-UP: “Something bigger” emerges in Manhattan case against Trump

LEVELED-UP: “Something bigger” emerges in Manhattan case against Trump

LEVELED-UP: "Something bigger" emerges in Manhattan case against Trump

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Investigations of Donald Trump’s allegedly illegal activities may go on behind closed doors, but witnesses — members of the public who have had ties to Trump — are often quite willing to share what they know.

This is especially the situation in Trump’s Manhattan case, which centers on whether he broke laws by reimbursing his attorney for hush payments to an adult film star during his 2016 campaign.

Trump insists he’s not guilty, and that, besides, the statute of limitations on the potential charges has expired, but District Attorney Alvin Bragg has continued his investigation, and there are hints that he could expect an indictment to be successful.

Now the Grand Jury is connecting with key witnesses, and conclusions — of one kind or another — could be coming soon.

On Monday, both Michael Cohen (Trump’s former attorney who admitted to making the hush money payments and accepting reimbursement from Trump) and Jennifer Weisselberg (who is divorced from Barry Weisselberg, the son of convicted Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg) appeared before the panel to provide testimony.

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Cohen has spoken openly about the alleged financial crimes committed by his former employer since the two parted ways over the attorney’s ire at taking the fall.

Aside from the Stormy Daniels hush payments, he’s also testified to Congress and investigators that Trump routinely falsifies values of properties on financial documents.

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Weisselberg’s ex-father-in-law went to prison after admitting that the Trump Organization dodged tax bills by providing him with certain benefits under the table.

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Now, she’s sharing what she knows from her ex-husband’s connections to Trump.

She told the Daily Beast:

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“Something has changed and it’s up-leveled. It’s bigger than any taxes, paper, insurance, banks, insurance…it’s bigger than money.”
Though she stopped short of explaining what questions or other information lead her to that conclusion, others close to the case also said that investigators seem to be “turning over every stone,” and Trump seems seriously concerned.
Though he refused an invitation to give his own side of the story, he has been defending himself vigorously (if poorly) on his social media, posting multiple times to declare that he’s immune:
“With respect to the “Stormy” nonsense, it is VERY OLD & happened a long time ago, long past the very publicly known & accepted deadline of the Statute of Limitations.”
Cohen, who has the closest firsthand (aside from Trump himself) knowledge of the money movements in the cash, has appeared before the Grand Jury at least 20 times, according to the Washington Post. 
Monday’s testimony, however, comes alongside other hints that the panel’s work could be wrapping up.
Stephanie Bazzle
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.

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