Trump says He Expects to Be Arrested on Tuesday, Calls for Protests

NEW YORK, March 18 (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as New York prosecutors consider charges over a hush money payment to a porn star, and called on his supporters to protest.

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“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.

A spokesman for Trump said the former president had not been notified of any arrest. Trump provided no evidence of leaks from the district attorney’s office and did not discuss the possible charges in his post.

“Protest, take our nation back!” said Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, to try to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat.

The probe comes as Trump seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024.

No U.S. president – while in office or afterward – has faced criminal charges. Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.

A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office has been investigating a $130,000 hush payment Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn actor Stormy Daniels, declined to comment.

Sources have said 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 Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, on Saturday decried the investigation.

“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.

‘RECKLESS’

McCarthy’s predecessor as speaker, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, who like McCarthy was present at the Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the building, battling with police, 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.”

Trump’s former vice president Mike Pence told ABC News Trump’s possible indictment “just feels like a politically charged prosecution here.” Asked about Trump’s call for people to protest if he is indicted, Pence said he thinks protesters will understand “they need to do so peacefully and in a lawful manner.”

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.

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. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan did not charge Trump with a crime.

The probe is one of several legal woes Trump faces as he seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency.

Trump is also confronting a state-level criminal probe in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 results in that state.

A special counsel named by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is currently investigating Trump’s handling of classified government documents after leaving office, as well as his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

Bragg’s office last year won the conviction of the Trump Organization on tax fraud charges. But Bragg declined to charge Trump himself with financial crimes related to his business practices, prompting two prosecutors who worked on the probe to resign.

Trump, who was in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday and attended the NCAA wrestling championships, leads his early rivals for his party’s nomination. He had the support of 43% of Republicans in a February Reuters/Ipsos poll, compared with 31% for his nearest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has not yet announced his candidacy.

Trump in 2018 initially disputed knowing anything about the payment to Daniels. He later acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the payment, which he called a “simple private transaction.”

Cohen, who served time in prison after pleading guilty, testified before the grand jury this week. Grand jury proceedings are not public. Outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan, he told reporters he did not testify out of a desire for revenge against Trump.

“This is all about accountability,” he said. “He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds.”

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, spoke with prosecutors last week, according to her lawyer.

Trump founded his Truth Social media platform after being banned by Twitter, Facebook and YouTube following the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol. He has since regained his accounts on those services, though he limited his Saturday statement to Truth.

Click here to read the full article in Reuters

Comments

  1. Probably this would have been ignored if Trump had not demonstrated his criminal intent and contempt for the law and Constitution so blatantly in a number of other ways. They would not have had the confidence to prosecute him if this were only an isolated situation, but unfortunately it isn’t isolated.

  2. President Trump Won

  3. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    Don’t you get a chuckle out of all the Democrats who should be in prison saying, “No one is above the law?”

    Can someone remind me how much prison time Bill Clinton served for the $850,000 he paid Paula Jones??? What about the Biden & Co. Crime Family???

    The United States is turning into a banana republic and the silence of among supposed Republican leaders and leadership organizations tells a big story. THANK YOU to House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy and his comments against this ridiculous witch hunt that is being done solely to hurt President Trump’s chances in 2024. So far, McCarthy has been performing above America First Patriot expectations!

    Republican candidates for president – announced and potential – that do NOT call out this travesty will not win the nomination. (Hello Ron DeSantis!) Elected politicians making Democrat-like statements (such as Rep. Young Kim of Orange County who went on Fox News and said to let this play out in the courts), will find many Republicans skipping their race on the 2024 ballot. Yeah, the Democrat candidate will always be worse than the RINO candidate, but in 2024 America First Patriots will stand their ground and NOT vote for RINOs. If we are going to lose our country to Marxism, let it be with Democrats and not RINOs.

    RINOs like Young Kim who say “let this play out in the courts” will be very discouraged when the ballots are counted in November 2024.

  4. Dems want us dead and gone.
    RINOs will not lift a finger.
    Keep that in mind, and live accordingly.

  5. Eleanor Howard says

    To all you Republicans who have jumped onto the Ron DeSantis bandwagon, where is he? Not a word!

    • Dennis P Drent says

      I’m in the DeSantis camp and believe it would be foolhardy for him to speak out against this based on Trump’s post. If it were me, I’d wait until an indictment is made. I’m surprised Mccarthy and Pence said anything at this point. This could be as simple as Trump being Trump effectively making the news headline.

  6. The fact that the democrats have spent so much time, money and energy in trying to take Trump out of politics should tell us all we need to know. They are AFRAID.
    Trump represents what Patriotism is all about. He made promises he kept. He kept us out of more foreign wars. He revitalized the military. He closed the border. He had the economy humming. NONE of the false democrat allegations, impeachments and lies kept him from doing the job we elected him to do.
    We need a gunslinger to clean up the town (again). Mean tweets not withstanding.
    Maybe this time the republicans will get smart enough to back him?

  7. West Walker says

    Maybe all that hush money taxpayers are forced to pay with that secret Congressional Sexual Harassment fund — can also be exposed? Congress acts like it is above the law— paying off sexual harassment claims with taxpayer dollars- and hiding it all from the public.

    A long list of leaders have spoken up about this injustice: Bill Clinton did the same act, no arrest. Hillary hid money she used to pay for the Steele Dossiar- no arrests- just an FEC fine. Biden takes massive funds from the communist government- bribes Ukraine to drop charges against his son— nothing. Insurance companies settle all the time— it is not an admission of guilt.

    Those sticking up for the silence on this, supporting the Romney’s, DeSantis, Paul Ryan’s of the party- are why such a double justice system has been allowed to exist. They support the clear weaponization of our legal system. Our VP literally bailed out BLM rioters- and got charges dismissed. That’s okay with them.

    Trump is the anti-uni Party. He has helped expose the deep corruption of our government. He deserves our endless support.

  8. Rico Lagattuta says

    Roger Ogden, you made your left wing socialist statement, now go register your Democrat Card. If the DA of Manhattan puts out an arrest warrant for Donald Trump there will be chaos and riots in the streets, the like of which has not been seen in the US since 1776!

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