Former President Donald Trump addresses the crowd of supporters at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa. on November 5, 2022. Trump's attorney said he will not appear in front of a New York grand jury on Monday. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
March 13 (UPI) -- Attorneys for former President Donald Trump said he has no plans to appear in front of a New York grand jury investigating his alleged role in a hush-money scheme involving adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
State prosecutors have been investigating Trump in the alleged coverup, which could lead to rare criminal charges against a former U.S. president and current presidential candidate. Trump had been invited to testify in front of the grand jury.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, the alleged middleman in the plot, is scheduled to testify before the grand jury on Monday. During his time with Trump, Cohen enjoyed the reputation of being a "fixer" for businessman and celebrity Trump.
Current Trump attorney Joe Tacopina on Monday accused prosecutors of weaponizing the Manhattan district attorney's office against Trump.
"Clearly this prosecutor and his prosecutors' office has ... an agenda," Tacopina told ABC News' Good Morning America. "They've scoured his personal life and business life for seven years to try to find something.
"I don't know since when we've decided to start prosecuting extortion victims. He's vehemently denied this affair, but he had to pay money because there was going to be an allegation that was going to be publicly embarrassing, regardless of the campaign."
Cohen, who has met with prosecutors more than 20 times and served a federal prison sentence, alleges Trump ordered him to pay hush money to Daniels. He said the payment was for the "principal purpose of influencing" the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has long denied he had an affair with Daniels and that he paid money to the porn star to keep her silent about it during his first presidential run.