New York prosecutors have convened a grand jury in their investigation into paying hush money to an adult film star who said she had slept with Donald Trump, three sources familiar with the situation confirmed.

The seat of a grand jury, first reported Monday by The New York Timesmarks a significant new phase of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into the $130,000 payment to actor Stormy Daniels during the 2016 Trump campaign.

A Bragg spokesman declined to comment Monday.

Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney, has met with prosecutors in recent weeks and may be asked to appear before the grand jury.

Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to making the illegal payment to Daniels for the «primary purpose of influencing» the 2016 presidential election, saying he did so at Trump’s behest.

Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison for that and other crimes, said in an interview with MSNBC Monday that the payment «was made at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump.»

An attorney for Trump declined to comment Monday night.

Trump has denied ever sleeping with Daniels, but acknowledged that he paid Cohen back the $130,000.

In 2018, Trump tweeted that the money «was not from the campaign» and that the agreement had been «a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement or NDA.»

«The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionate accusations made by her of an affair … despite the fact that she had already signed a detailed letter admitting there was no affair,» Trump said Wednesday. Twitter.

Trump’s company was sentenced this month on tax fraud charges brought by the district attorney’s office. Bragg said at the time that the ruling «closes this important chapter in our ongoing investigation into the former president and his business,» adding: «Now we move on to the next chapter.»