Grand jury convened over Trump's alleged tax fraud

Donald Trump is seen speaking at the CPAC conference in February 2021

USA media outlets say a prosecutor in the state of NY has convened a grand jury to decide whether to indict former President Donald Trump, and executives of his company, in connection with suspicious tax practices at the firm.

The investigation will be focusing on Trump's wide range of criminal accusations, mainly involving matters of hush money paid to women, tax invasions, improper property valuations and more.

The Washington Post said the move, also reported by ABC, suggests that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance may have found evidence of a crime, if not by Trump then somebody close to him.

The document is protected by a grand jury secret rule and is not expected to be published. It will also look into the donations the Trump empire has made to evade tax.

The New York attorney general's office earlier on Tuesday confirmed that it is conducting a criminal investigation into Mr Trump's business empire, expanding what had previously been a civil probe.

"This is purely political, and an affront to the nearly 75 million voters who supported me in the Presidential Election, and it's being driven by highly partisan Democrat prosecutors", Trump charged in his statement.

Allen Weisserberg was summoned in a James civil investigation and witnessed twice a year ago.

Vance declined to run for reelection and will leave office at the end of the year, meaning the Trump case is likely to pass to his successor in some form. She did not say what prompted her office to expand its investigation into a criminal probe. Next month's election is nearly certain to decide who it will be.

Trump issued a statement last week complaining that he's being "unfairly attacked and abused by a corrupt political system".

Since 2019, Vance's office has been investigating allegations that the Trump Organization committed insurance and bank fraud. He contends the investigations are a "witch hunt" and part of a Democratic plot to silence his voters and block him from running for president again.

Trump, who held the post of USA president and ran a Republican administration from January 2017 to January 2021, registered as a Republican, a Democrat or an Independent in his earlier years, according to public records. His former daughter-in-law, Jen Weisserberg, is cooperating with both inquiries.

Allen Weisselberg was subpoenaed in James' civil investigation and testified twice previous year. His lawyer declined to comment when asked if he was summoned to testify before a new grand jury on Tuesday.

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