Alvin Bragg, the George Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor who promised to go after Donald Trump, is apparently walking back plans to have the former president arrested.
The Manhattan grand jury assembled in the alleged Trump hush money case has delayed its meeting on the matter until Monday, reports say.
In a letter on Thursday to the chairmen of three House committees calling on him to testify in his ongoing pursuit of Trump, Bragg complained that Trump had created a "false expectation," when he announced he expected to be arrested this week.
Bragg also notified House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan, Administration chair Bryan Steil, and Oversight chair James Comer that he was refusing to testify before their committees.
In a late Wednesday letter, Jordan requested testimony from two prosecutors who resigned from the New York case over disagreements with Bragg.
The requests were made to Mark Pomerantz, former New York County Special Assistant District Attorney, and Carey Dunne, a former Manhattan Special Assistant District Attorney, both of whom resigned from Bragg’s Trump investigation in February 2022.
Bragg's letter came after DailyMail.com reported that it had obtained a a 2018 letter from former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to federal authorities in which Cohen claimed he was not reimbursed by Trump or his organization for hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. The document contradicts Cohen's recent grand jury testimony.
"The bombshell document could throw a wrench in the works of prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Trump over the payments," the report noted.
Trump said in a statement: "Wow, look what was just found — A Letter from Cohen’s Lawyer to the Federal Election Commission. This is totally exculpatory, and must end the Manhattan District Attorney’s Witch Hunt, immediately. Cohen admits that he did it himself. The D.A. should get on with prosecuting violent criminals, so people can walk down the sidewalks of New York without being murdered!"
Cohen had told the grand jury under oath that Trump "asked me to pay off an adult film star with whom he had an affair," and that Trump "directed me to use my own personal funds from a Home Equity Line of Credit to avoid any money being traced back to him that could negatively impact his campaign."
Both Trump and Daniels have said the alleged affair never took place. In Jan. 2018, Daniels had released a statement (seen at left) saying she and Trump denied the affair, which allegedly occurred in 2006.
In the Feb. 8, 2018 letter to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan writes: "In a private transaction in 2016, before the U.S. presidential election, Mr. Cohen used his own personal funds to facilitate a payment of $130,000 to Ms. Stephanie Clifford. Neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was a party to the transaction with Ms. Clifford, and neither reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the payment directly or indirectly."
The letter continues: "Contrary to the allegations in the complaint, which are entirely speculative, neither Mr. Cohen nor Essential Consultants LLC made any in-kind contributions to Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., or any other presidential campaign committee."
The letter was written in response to an FEC investigation launched after complaints of campaign finance violations, lodged by Paul Ryan and the organization Common Cause.
The letter backs up the testimony on Monday by Robert Costello, who told reporters that he testified to the grand jury about an alleged 2018 conversation with Cohen, in which he claimed Cohen said he made the $130,000 payment to Daniels on his own, and that it was his idea, not Trump’s.
"Michael Cohen did this on his own," Costello said. "I said, 'Why would you do that?' He said: 'Because I wanted to keep this secret. Even secret from my own wife… I didn’t want Melania [Trump] to know. I didn’t want my wife to know.' "
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