Trump says he expects to be arrested, calls for protest

- Advertisement -

Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that his arrest was imminent and issued an extraordinary call for his supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates money payments to women who allege sexual encounters with the former president.

Despite no evidence that Manhattan prosecutors had given him or his lawyers any official notice, Trump announced in a post on his social media platforms that he expected to be taken into custody on Tuesday.

- Advertisement -

The message seemed designed to stall prosecutors’ formal announcement and stoke outrage from their supporter base ahead of the widely anticipated charges. Within hours, he sent a fundraising email to supporters, while influential Republicans in Congress issued statements in his defense.

In his direct encouragement of protest, and in his capital letter “Take Back Our Nation!” The social media posts evolved in ways that foreshadowed the rhetoric he used shortly before the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

- Advertisement -

After hearing the then-president speak at a Washington rally that morning, his supporters marched to the Capitol and tried to block Congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s White House victory, breaking the building’s doors and windows and assaulting officials. He was beaten up and left lying in a pool of blood.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is believed to be eyeing the allegations in the hush money probe, and he recently offered Trump the chance to testify before a grand jury. Local law enforcement officials are bracing for the public safety implications of the unprecedented prosecution of a former US president.

- Advertisement -

But there has been no public announcement of a time frame for the grand jury’s incognito work in the case. At least one additional witness is expected to testify, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, indicating further No votes have been taken to cast.

That didn’t stop Trump from taking to his social media platforms for what he called an “illegal leak” from Bragg’s office, indicating that “far and away the leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States, on Tuesday of next week Will be arrested.”

A spokeswoman for Trump and an attorney said his Truth social post was based on media reports — though he did not specify which ones — rather than any actual updates or communications from prosecutors. The district attorney’s office declined to comment Saturday.

Should Trump be indicted, he would only be arrested if he refused to surrender. Trump’s lawyers have previously said he would follow normal procedure, meaning he would likely agree to surrender at the New York Police Department’s premises or directly at Bragg’s office.

It is unclear whether Trump’s supporters will heed his call to protest or if he retains the same driving force he wielded as president. Trump’s posts on Truth Social generally get less attention than they used to on Twitter, but he maintains a deeply loyal base.

The aftermath of the January 6 riots, in which hundreds of Trump loyalists were arrested and tried in federal court, may also have dampened passions among supporters for violent action.

The indictment of Trump, 76, would be an extraordinary development after years of scrutiny of his business, political and personal dealings.

Even as Trump pursues his 2024 bid for the White House — his first rally is scheduled for Waco, Texas, later this month and he will head to the NCAA Division I in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday evening. I wrestling championship – there is little doubt that the indictment will be a distraction and fodder for detractors and critics weary of the legal scandals that have long surrounded him.

In addition to the hush money inquiry in New York, Trump is facing separate criminal investigations in Atlanta and Washington over his efforts to undo the results of the 2020 election.

A Justice Department special counsel is also presenting evidence before a grand jury probing the possession of hundreds of classified documents at Trump’s Florida estate.

It’s unclear when those investigations will end or whether they could result in criminal charges, but they will continue regardless of what happens in New York, given the ongoing gravity of the legal challenges facing the former president. – and the broad geographic scope – underline.

Trump’s post Saturday came last summer after he reported on TruthSocial that the FBI was searching his Florida home as part of an investigation into possible mishandling of classified documents.

News of that discovery prompted a flood of contributions to Trump’s political operations, and on Saturday, Trump sent a fundraising email to his supporters saying “Manhattan DA may be close to charging Trump.”

Following his post, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy denounced any plans to prosecute Trump as an “outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA” who he claimed was pursuing “political vendetta”. Had been. The third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik, issued a statement with a similar sentiment.

The grand jury is hearing witnesses including Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he paid two women in 2016 to keep quiet about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier Was.

Trump denies the encounters, says he did nothing wrong and calls the investigation a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 campaign.

Trump has also labeled Bragg, who is black, a “racist” and accused the prosecutor of letting crime run rampant in the city while he focused on Trump. New York remains one of the safest cities in the country.

Bragg’s office is apparently investigating whether any state laws were broken with regard to the payments or whether Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work in keeping the women’s allegations quiet. .

Porn actor Stormy Daniels and at least two former Trump aides – one-time political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks – are among witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.

Cohen has said that at Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payment was to buy her silence regarding Trump, who was in his first presidential campaign at the time.

Cohen and federal prosecutors said Trump’s company paid them $130,000 as reimbursement for the payment to Daniels and $420,000 to cover bonuses and other estimated expenses.

The company classified those payments internally as legal expenses. McDougall was paid $150,000 by the then-publisher of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer to prevent her story from being published.

Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the Enquirer’s corporate parent in exchange for cooperation in a campaign finance investigation that led to charges against Cohen in 2018. Prosecutors said the payments to Daniels and McDougall amounted to impermissible, unrecorded gifts to Trump’s election efforts.

Cohen pleaded guilty, served prison time and was fired. Federal prosecutors never charged Trump with a crime.

News that law enforcement agencies were preparing for possible indictment was first reported by NBC News.

Credit: /

- Advertisement -

Recent Articles

Related Stories