New York prosecutors have offered Donald Trump an opportunity to testify to a grand jury, signaling that an investigation into hush money the former president allegedly paid a porn star may soon end in an indictment, US media reported Thursday.
Trump was offered a chance to testify next week to a New York grand jury, whose investigation is said to involve a $130,000 payment made just before the 2016 presidential election to an adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump, The New York Times and Washington Post reported.
Both papers quoted people with knowledge of the proceedings led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who took office in January.
The Times said that such offers to testify “almost always indicate an indictment is close.”
If there were an indictment, it would mark the first time a former US president has been charged with a crime.
Trump, who has already declared another bid for the White House, is facing several criminal probes at the state and federal level over possible wrongdoing before, during and after his first term in office. He has not yet been charged in any of them.
An indictment in the long-running hush money probe or any other could also affect the race for the White House in 2024.
The hush money payment, made two weeks ahead of the November 2016 election, was allegedly intended to stop Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, from disclosing that she had had an affair with Trump years earlier.
It was made by a close Trump aide, the lawyer Michael Cohen, who said he was later reimbursed.
The payment to Cohen, if not properly accounted, could result in a misdemeanor charge in New York, but that could be raised to a felony if the false accounting was to cover up a second crime, the Times said.