The Manhattan Attorney's Office in New York had invited Trump to testify before the lay panel known as the Grand Jury in the case of the hush money payment to the porn actress Stormy Daniels. The grand jury will decide whether or not to indict the ex-president.
The affair involves a payment of $130,000 (around 122,000 euros) that Trump's private attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she had an affair with Trump years before the election, which Trump denies.
The payment was apparently intended to prevent Clifford from going public, which could have harmed Trump during the election campaign. However, the cash flows may have violated campaign finance laws. On Monday, Michael Cohen - now a well-known Trump critic - testified before the grand jury. Upon his arrival, he told journalists that Trump "must be held accountable for his dirty actions." He himself wanted "no revenge," Cohen also assured. He will "tell the truth" to the grand jury.
Should Trump be indicted, it would be the first time a former US President has been indicted. The 76-year-old Republican announced a new presidential bid last November and wants to retake the White House in the 2024 elections.
Trump has described the Manhattan Attorney's Office's investigation as a "political witch hunt." With regard to the hush money payment, he described himself as the victim of "blackmail".
Trump is not only in the sights of investigators in the Stormy Daniels affair. Investigations are underway in southern Georgia into possible illegal interference with the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
A US special investigator is also examining Trump's responsibility for the storming of the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and the taking of numerous secret documents from the White House to Trump's private estate Mar-a-Lago in the state of Florida after the Republican's term ended. However, Trump has not been charged in any of these investigations, at least so far.