WASHINGTON: Former President Donald Trump said Saturday he expects to be arrested in connection with the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney next week and called for protests as New York law enforcement prepares for a possible indictment.
In a social media post, Trump, referring to himself, said the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week.”
“Protest, take our nation back,” he wrote.
CNN’s John Miller reported that meetings have been going on throughout the week between city, state and federal law enforcement agencies in New York City about how to prepare for a possible indictment of Trump in connection with a yearlong investigation into a hush money scheme involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Any indictment of the former President, who is running for reelection in 2024, would mark a historic first and quickly change the political conversation around an already divisive figure. While Trump has an extensive history of civil litigation both before and after taking office, a criminal charge would represent a dramatic escalation of his legal woes as he works to recapture the White House.
While Trump offered no details on why he expects to be indicted, his legal team has been anticipating that it will happen soon and has been preparing behind the scenes for the next steps. The former president is expected to present himself in Manhattan following the formal charges and has expressed interest in making a speech after, though whether he ultimately does remains to be see
A spokesperson for Trump said Saturday that the former President has not received a notification from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office regarding any potential indictment, but was “rightfully highlighting his innocence” in his post.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office declined to comment on Saturday.
Trump has complained privately that he believes he is only going to being indicted because he thinks Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “hates him,” according to a source familiar with what Trump has said.
His call for a protest in response to a potential arrest echoes his final days in office when he repeatedly urged his supporters to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election, culminating in the deadly January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
Some of Trump’s advisers had urged him privately not to call for protests, concerned about the optics of a mass protest in the streets of Manhattan growing out of control or resembling the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
The discussions have been about how to navigate the potential indictment for a criminal charge by a New York county grand jury and the choreography around the possibility of an unprecedented arrest of a former president of the United States. The New York Police Department did not immediately respond to CNN’s inquiry following Trump’s posts on Saturday.
Trump’s US Secret Service detail would deliver him to the Manhattan district attorney’s office for fingerprinting and then taking mugshots in offices of the district attorney’s detective squad. As is customary in cases where a defendant is allowed to voluntarily surrender, after arrest processing, the former president would be brought directly to an arraignment before a judge where he would likely be released on his own recognizance.
Law enforcement officials who are privy to the discussions said several concerns have been discussed in the planning process, including courthouse security and the potential for demonstrations or rallies outside of the courthouse by Trump supporters or counter demonstrations by anti-Trump protesters, with the risk of the two groups clashing. (Int’l News Desk)