This is the grand jury, the judicial instrument that indicts Trump.
A grand jury in New York voted Thursday to indict Donald Trump for paying Stormy Daniels $130,000 in exchange for not revealing that she had relations with the politician and businessman in 2006. The Republican could face up to 30 charges.
Becomes the First former U.S. president to face charges. criminals. The grand jury’s decision will have repercussions across the country even more so now that Trump, 76, was seeking to reach the White House again.
But what is a grand jury?
It is a judicial tool that does not exist in the Spanish legal system. Perhaps that is why it sounds extraordinary to us, as if a grand jury only takes shape for extraordinary cases or cases involving outstanding personalities, as is the case here. But no.
The grand jury (grand jury) is part of the judicial branch of government. It is a Division of the court, but also a fully independent body.. It is formed by a group of citizens together with the presiding judge of the superior court, the district attorney, the county attorney and the state attorney general, who act as advisors.
Jury or grand jury
However, a jury and a grand jury are not the same thing. Like the one in New York in the Trump case, a grand jury studies the case and decides whether or not there is a basis for holding a trial.. It is, therefore, an instrument of great help to the prosecutor in the case.
It was in May 2021 that the New York District Attorney’s Office ordered the impanelment of a grand jury to decide whether there were grounds to open a trial against the former U.S. president.
No decision on guilt
A grand jury usually consists of 16 to 23 personswhile a jury during a trial has between 6 and 12 members. The members initially meet with the prosecutor, who explains the law and works with them to gather evidence and hear witnesses to the crime.
Unlike the plaintiff ‘juror,’ a grand jury does not decide on the guilt of a defendantbut assists the prosecutor in deciding whether to bring a formal charge against a person in a criminal case.
In the words of the American Bar Association, a grand jury hears evidence and decides whether someone should be charged with a crime. That is, determines probable causenot guilt or innocence.
When the grand jury meets there is no judge present. It is arguably a less demanding process than trial because some evidence is admitted, such as hearsaywhich in a regular trial would not be admitted.
Grand jury meetings are not public so that their “investigation” is secret. This secrecy serves two purposes. On the one hand, to allow witnesses to speak without pressure; on the other hand, to avoid damaging the reputation of the suspect if there is insufficient evidence to bring an accusation against him.
In contrast to juries, the grand jury does not meet every day. Many federal grand juries usually sit only once a week or twice a month.
Quorum to decide
In order for the grand jury to render its verdict, it is required to. a quorum of 2/3 or 3/4, depending on the state.. If it is decided that the indictment proceeds to form, the case goes directly to the trial stage. This is what has happened in the case of Trump and the payment to Stormy Daniels.
If the grand jury decides there is no probable cause to indict, the prosecutor has two options. To take note and dismiss the indictment or to bring it nevertheless. If he bets on the latter, he will do so against the opinion of the grand jurors, i.e., with the “warning” that it will be very difficult for him to win the case.
The Playboy Girl Connection
Until this Thursday, it was believed that the grand jury would postpone its decision until the end of April.. However, the grand jurors have decided that yes, the facts under consideration are sufficient basis to bring Trump to trial.
The Wall Street Journal claims that the grand jury has examined at its most recent meetings. the second case, that of model Karen McDougal. She was a “Playboy girl” in 1998 and claims that she had a sexual relationship with the former president for ten months. It was in 2006, the same year as Trump’s affair with Daniels.
‘The Wall Street Journal’ claims that the grand jury has taken into account the case of Karen McDougal and have been able to see in Trump a pattern of behavior.
McDougal reached a plea deal to publish her story with The National Enquirer in exchange for $150,000. What happened was that the newspaper actually bought his testimony in order to conceal it because. its owner is a friend of the businessman and Republican politician.
Significantly. If the members of the grand jury have considered the “Playboy girl” case they will have seen that perhaps there is a pattern of behavior on Trump’s part.. That portrays him as “more guilty,” at least in this previous instance, the grand jury.