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Why a Trump ‘special’ grand jury in New York wouldn’t be like Georgia

We know by now that the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, can’t bring charges. That’s not true for special grand juries in New York.


The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is presenting evidence to what’s likely a “special” grand jury for Donald Trump’s role in the Stormy Daniels hush money payment scheme, The New York Times reported Monday.

But unlike the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, that doesn't have the authority to bring criminal charges against Trump or anyone else, a special grand jury in New York does.

As the Times reported Monday,

The panel hearing evidence about the hush money is likely what’s known as a special grand jury. Like regular grand juries, it is made up of 23 Manhattan residents chosen at random. But its members are sworn in to serve for six months to hear complex cases, rather than the routine 30-day panels that review evidence and vote on whether to bring charges in cases of burglary, assault, robbery, murder and other crimes.

It’s unclear how long it would take a Manhattan special grand jury to vote for criminal charges. But if one votes for such charges, New York prosecutors shouldn’t have to go through the extra step of presenting charges to another, regular grand jury, like Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has to do in Georgia if she wants to bring charges.

Recall that Willis said last week that decisions are “imminent” from her office, so even if Trump is set to face charges in both states, it’s likely that we’ll hear from her before we hear from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.