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Trump live updates: Indictment in hush money case not expected this week, NBC reports

This is CNBC's live blog tracking developments Tuesday of ongoing criminal investigations into former U.S. President Donald Trump, including the Manhattan grand jury's probe. See below for the latest updates. Follow our live coverage of the New York grand jury's indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Former US President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Waco, Texas, US, on Saturday, March 25, 2023. 
Brandon Bell | Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump is not expected to face indictment this week in the probe into his then-lawyer's hush money payment to a porn star before the 2016 election, NBC News reported.

The grand jury is not expected to meet Wednesday, and is set to hear a different matter when it sits on Thursday, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC. If the grand jury sticks to that schedule, the soonest an indictment could come down is Monday.

Trump earlier framed the probe by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office as a new way of "cheating" in elections.

Trump's latest accusation echoes past, false claims he made leading up to and after the 2020 presidential, when he said there was widespread fraud as a result of mail-in ballots that became more common due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and to suppression of his supporters' vote.

He and his allies argue that Bragg's probe, and others by a Georgia prosecutor and the Department of Justice, are designed to harm his chances of winning the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, and, ultimately regaining the White House.

The Manhattan grand jury that has been hearing testimony in the hush money case is expected to have the day off Tuesday, a day after former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker made his second appearance before the panel.

That means that the earliest day the grand jury could vote on a potential indictment of Trump is Wednesday.

Pecker tipped off Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen in 2016 that porn actress Stormy Daniels was shopping around a story about having had sex with Trump a decade earlier.

Cohen soon afterward paid Daniels $130,000 to keep her quiet about the alleged tryst.

Trump denies having sex with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Bragg's investigation is focused on the Trump Organization recording Trump's reimbursement to Cohen for the payment as "legal expenses." It is a misdemeanor under New York state law to misclassify business expenses in official records, and that can become a felony if the false statement was done to conceal another crime.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple federal crimes, including to a federal campaign finance violation for the payment to Daniels.

Pence ordered to testify in probe of Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 election, NBC reports

A federal judge ordered former Vice President Mike Pence to testify before a grand jury in the Justice Department's investigation of Trump's efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, NBC News reported.

The sealed ruling in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., came after Pence's legal team argued that the vice president's role as president of the Senate grants him constitutional protections against testifying about certain legislative activities.

Pence does have some limited protections regarding his role presiding over a joint session of Congress that convened on Jan. 6, 2021, to confirm President Joe Biden's win over Trump in the 2020 contest. But Pence is not immune from testifying about alleged "illegality" by Trump, the judge reportedly ruled.

The judge also rejected arguments put forward by Trump's attorneys against the subpoena on the grounds of executive privilege, according to NBC, which cited a source familiar with the ruling.

The probe is one of two criminal investigations into Trump being headed by DOJ special counsel Jack Smith. In addition to the Manhattan district attorney's probe, Trump is also embroiled in investigations by the New York attorney general and the DA in Fulton County, Ga.

Kevin Breuninger

No indictment vote expected for rest of week at Trump grand jury

Former President Donald Trump listens as he speaks with reporters while in flight on his plane after a campaign rally at Waco Regional Airport, in Waco, Texas, Saturday, March 25, 2023, while en route to West Palm Beach, Fla.
Evan Vucci | AP

The grand jury is not expected this week to vote on a possible indictment of Trump, NBC News reported.

The panel has been given off Wednesday, as of now.

It next is scheduled to meet on Thursday, but that will be for a different investigation other than the one related to the payment of hush money to a porn star, which is the focus of the Trump investigation.

The grand jury last heard testimony in the Trump probe on Monday, from the former publisher of The National Enquirer.

— Dan Mangan

'It's not going to end nicely': Possible 2024 contender Chris Christie makes case to challenge Trump

A photograph of former U.S. President Donald Trump hangs on the wall as former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks at the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., March 27, 2023. 
Brian Snyder | Reuters

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued that "the only thing that's going to defeat Donald Trump" in the 2024 Republican primary race is if one of his challengers can tear him apart on the debate stage.

"You better have somebody on that stage who can do to him what I did to (Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.)," Christie said at an event in New Hampshire on Monday, according to the Associated Press.

He was referencing his own clash with Rubio in a 2016 presidential primary debate, when the then-governor ripped the Florida senator for repeating his lines multiple times.

Christie said at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College that the candidate who will take on Trump has to "have the skill to do it. And that means you have to be fearless because he will come back and right at you."

"So you need to think about who's got the skill to do that and who's got the guts to do it, because it's not going to end nicely," Christie said. "No matter what, his end will not be a calm and quiet conclusion."

The remarks came as some GOP strategists suggest that Trump could remain a leading candidate in the Republican primary even if he is indicted in the Manhattan district attorney's probe of the 2016 porn star hush money payment. Those criminal charges, if they come, could unify Republican voters who may be receptive to Trump's claim that DA Alvin Bragg's probe amounts to politically motivated "election interference."

Christie, who helped prepare Trump for his debate against President Joe Biden in 2020, has become one of the ex-president's most vocal Republican critics. Christie has not said if he plans to run for president again in 2024, but he is seen as a possible contender.

Kevin Breuninger

Trump say grand jury probe 'new way' to cheat him out of White House victory

Former President Donald Trump disembarks his plane as he lands at Quad City International Airport in route to Iowa on Monday, March 13, 2023, in Moline, IL.
The Washington Post | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the Manhattan grand jury criminal probe of him is "a new way of cheating in elections."

"It's called election interference," Trump said in the interview.

Trump, the leading contendere for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, for the past two years has falsely claimed that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden as a result of widespread ballot fraud in several swing states. No such fraud has been found.

Fox News faces a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems for airing conspiracy theories that the company's voting machines were fraudulently used to rob Trump of the 2020 election.

Asked by Hannity about the chance that he will be arrested in the Manhattan investigation, Trump's said, "Well, I'll deal with it."

Fox News Channel Host Sean Hannity speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, August 4, 2022.
Shelby Tauber | Reuters

"We're dealing with very dishonest people," he said. "We're dealing with thugs. We're dealing with people I actually believe that hate our country."

— Dan Mangan