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Trump probe: law enforcement don’t expect arraignment until next week, virtual option off the table

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Law enforcement officials met behind closed doors Monday to discuss the logistics of arraigning former President Trump following his possible indictment over hush-money payments made on his behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

A law enforcement source told Fox News Monday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and different branches of law enforcement discussed the logistics of closing down streets and putting lights up with generators, extra barriers, and extra police. 

FILE: Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. 

FILE: Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla.  (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The source said law enforcement does not expect the former president to be arraigned until next week as the Manhattan grand jury – which has been meeting secretly to hear evidence for weeks – has another witness on Wednesday. A virtual option was apparently ruled out as the District Attorney is opposed to it.  

The source told Fox News that law enforcement is concerned about safety. If the former president does come up to Manhattan, there will be a major police presence and the area will get shut down. Trump has called on his supporters to protest ahead of a possible indictment. 

MANHATTAN DA BRAGG DECRIES TRUMP’S ATTEMPT TO ‘INTIMIDATE’ HIS OFFICE IN PRIVATE MEMO

The grand jury has been probing Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 payment made in 2016 to the porn actor Stormy Daniels to keep her from going public about a sexual encounter she said she had with him years earlier. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, through a shell company before being reimbursed by Trump, whose company, the Trump Organization, logged the reimbursements as legal expenses.

Federal prosecutors in the U.S. attorneys office for the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019, even as Cohen implicated him as part of his deal. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021. 

The Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into Trump was opened by then-DA Cyrus Vance. The probe was focused on possible bank, insurance and tax fraud. The case initially involved financial dealings of Trump’s Manhattan properties, including his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower, and the valuation of his 213-acre estate Seven Springs in Westchester. 

The investigation last year led to tax fraud charges against The Trump Organization, and its finance chief Allen Weisselberg, who pleaded guilty. 

Trump denies any wrongdoing and has slammed the Manhattan district attorney’s office probe as politically motivated.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 13: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks at a press conference after the sentencing hearing of the Trump Organization at the New York Supreme Court on January 13, 2023 in New York City. 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 13: Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks at a press conference after the sentencing hearing of the Trump Organization at the New York Supreme Court on January 13, 2023 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

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An indictment of Trump, who is seeking the White House again in 2024, would be an unprecedented moment in American history, the first criminal case against a former U.S. president. 

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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