On Saturday, former President Donald Trump claimed that he anticipates being arrested due to his involvement in the long-standing investigation of a hush money scandal with an adult film star Stormy Daniels. In a social media post, Trump called on his supporters to protest any potential arrest and declared that the “leading GOP candidate and former Trump will be arrested on Tuesday of next week.” However, Trump didn’t disclose any specific reasons for his expectation of being arrested. His team stated after the post that they had not received any notifications from prosecutors.
According to CNN’s John Miller on Friday, law enforcement agencies at the city, state, and federal levels in New York City have been holding weekly meetings to discuss security measures in anticipation of a possible indictment of Donald Trump. Multiple sources briefed on the matter revealed to CNN that the former president has been pushing his team to energize his base. He believes an indictment would benefit him politically. Like his previous calls to supporters after the 2020 presidential election, Trump urged action on Saturday by announcing, “Protest, take our nation back.”
On Saturday, Trump, the former President of the United States, announced that he anticipates being arrested due to his alleged involvement in a hush-money scheme with adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He also urged his supporters to protest in response to any possible arrest. pic.twitter.com/wRg8PJu1WK
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) March 20, 2023
Potential Indictment of Trump and its Implications
If former President Trump is charged, it would be a groundbreaking development and have immediate political ramifications for the polarizing figure as he seeks reelection in 2024. Although Trump has a well-documented history of civil lawsuits before and during his presidency, a criminal charge would represent a major increase in his legal problems and could hinder his campaign to regain the presidency. A source familiar with the investigation has stated that a new witness is anticipated to appear before the grand jury on Monday. It remains unclear if this witness is the last before the grand jury decides whether to indict anyone.
Likely Defense from Republicans
Donald Trump’s legal team has been expecting an indictment to be issued shortly and quietly preparing for what comes next. Joe Tacopina, a Trump lawyer, responded to the claims made by the former president and stated that their legal team is waiting to receive updates from the authorities. Tacopina added that Trump’s comments were based on press reports and that they are frustrated with the lack of information coming from the prosecutors.
On Saturday, a representative for Donald Trump stated that the former president had not received any official notification from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office regarding a possible indictment. They added that Trump’s recent social media post was intended to assert his innocence. Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, tweeted his opposition to any hypothetical indictment, stating that it would be a blatant abuse of power from the Attorney’s Office of Manhattan District. This response from McCarthy could be a potential defense strategy for Republicans in Congress.
Former Vice President Mike Pence expressed his agreement with Kevin McCarthy’s opposition to a potential indictment of Donald Trump. Speaking to Breitbart News in a radio interview on Saturday, Pence described his shock at the ongoing investigation and claimed it was a politically motivated attack. He criticized the investigation, calling it a “political prosecution” that stinks of impropriety. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment.
Trump’s Protest Call Resembles January 6 Rhetoric
Donald Trump has expressed that he believes he will be indicted due to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s hatred towards him. This sentiment appears to be driving Trump’s recent call for his supporters to protest against any likely arrest. This rhetoric is reminiscent of Trump’s behavior in the lead-up to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, when he repeatedly called on his supporters to refuse the results of the 2020 election.
Some of Trump’s advisers had reportedly advised him against calling for protests, citing concerns over the potential optics of a large demonstration in the streets of Manhattan escalating into a chaotic and violent situation similar to January 6, 2021. Meanwhile, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released an email statement on Saturday in which he stressed that his office would not tolerate any efforts to intimidate or undermine the rule of law in New York.
Another Witness to Testify Before a Grand Jury in Trump Investigation
According to a source knowing the investigation, another witness is scheduled to testify on Monday before the grand jury. However, it is still being determined whether this witness would be the final one before the grand jury decides on a possible indictment. After a possible indictment, Trump’s defense team will be notified, and negotiations for surrender and an initial appearance will begin.
Trump’s legal team has consistently stated that he will not agree to testify before the grand jury, but sources with knowledge of his team’s strategy say that if he is indicted, they will negotiate a surrender date with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Trump’s legal team has been in discussions throughout the week to prepare for different possibilities, such as Trump traveling to New York or attending a remote hearing while at Mar-a-Lago, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Some of Trump’s legal team members have suggested that he request a remote appearance for security reasons if an indictment is issued, but it is uncertain whether he will agree. He has also discussed with his team the possibility of starting the courthouse. Sources say that Trump is considering hiring a new lawyer adept at handling the media. As he is known for selecting advisers and lawyers based on their TV presence and ability to defend him in the media, he may seek someone who can handle outside media attention. Two lawyers currently involved in the DOJ’s investigations surrounding Trump, Jim Trusty, and Christina Bobb, were recruited by Trump after he saw them on TV.
Law Enforcement Discusses Plan for Arrest of Former President
Authorities are discussing how to handle the potential indictment and arrest of a former president by a New York County grand jury. The discussions have been focused on the choreography surrounding this unprecedented situation. If indicted, the former president is anticipated to surrender and undergo the standard processing and arraignment procedures at the courthouse, which involves taking a mug shot and being fingerprinted, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke with CNN.
Nonetheless, according to a source, the processing and duration of former President Trump’s time in the courthouse may be expedited with certain accommodations if he is indicted. The goal would be to get him before a judge as soon as possible. Following Trump’s posts on Saturday, the New York Police Department did not respond immediately to CNN’s inquiry. However, New York City law enforcement sources revealed that security measures were discussed in the NYPD’s daily briefing on Saturday and that social media is monitored regularly for potential threats.
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