Trump expects arrest on Tuesday, calls for protest
Former U.S. President Donald Trump said he expects to be arrested on Tuesday over an alleged hush money payment to a porn star and has urged his supporters to protest.
“Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney’s office … indicate that with no crime being able to be proven … the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“Protest, take our nation back!” Trump added.
However, a spokesman for Trump said the former president had not been notified of any arrest.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has been investigating a $130,000 hush payment Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn actor Stormy Daniels.
Sources say Bragg’s office has been presenting evidence to a grand jury about the payment, which came in the waning days of Trump’s 2016 campaign in exchange for Daniels’ silence about an affair she said she had with Trump a decade earlier.
Trump has denied the affair happened and called the investigation by Bragg, a Democrat, a witch hunt.
An additional witness is expected to appear before the grand jury on Monday, at the request of Trump’s lawyers, a person familiar with the matter said on Saturday.
Trump’s statement that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday is based on news reports that Bragg’s office is going to be meeting with law enforcement to prepare for a possible indictment, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The probe comes as Trump seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024.
No U.S. president – while in office or afterwards – has faced criminal charges. Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.
The Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, on Saturday decried the investigation.
Also Read: Trump appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot
“Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” McCarthy said on Twitter.
Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi denounced Trump’s call.
“The former president’s announcement this morning is reckless: doing so to keep himself in the news and to foment unrest among his supporters,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“He cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence.”
Bragg’s office earlier this month invited Trump to testify before the grand jury probing the payment, which legal experts said was a sign that an indictment was close.
Trump declined the offer, the person familiar with the matter said.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, spoke with prosecutors last week, according to her lawyer.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal campaign finance violations tied to his arranging payments to Daniels and another woman in exchange for their silence about affairs they said they’d had with Trump, among other crimes.
He has said Trump directed him to make the payments.