Former President Donald Trump says that he’ll be arrested Tuesday and is calling on his followers to protest on his behalf.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump stated that he is bracing for a possible arrest, following recent signs that the Manhattan District Attorney is gearing up to indict the former president for crimes related to attempts to cover up an alleged sexual affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels.
“The far & away leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote. “Protest, take our nation back!”
Danielle Filson, a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, declined to comment to VICE News about Trump’s post.
A Trump spokesperson said the former president has not yet received official word of an impending arrest from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, suggesting Trump may be blowing off steam on social media without having a clear idea himself of what’s about to happen.
Criminal charges are widely seen as likely and imminent in Manhattan given recent action in the case, including an invitation for Trump to speak to the grand jury himself last week. Such a move is common at the end of a probe, and signals that an indictment is likely because Trump was effectively given a chance to rebut the accusations in person before charges are filed. A Trump lawyer said last week Trump has no plans to accept the invitation.
Still, Trump’s own people seem to think Trump’s incendiary post may have gotten ahead of the facts.
“There has been no notification, other than illegal leaks from the Justice Dept. and the DA’s office, to NBC and other fake news carriers, that the George Soros-funded Radical Left Democrat prosecutor in Manhattan has decided to take his Witch-Hunt to the next level. President Trump is rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system,” a Trump spokesperson said in a text to VICE News.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has been investigating the broader circumstances under which Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels in exchange for her silence prior to the 2016 election, and whether Trump may have broken the law when Cohen was later reimbursed. Cohen says that Trump directed him to pay that money, with the goal of “influencing” the outcome of the election. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in connection with the transfer of funds.
Law enforcement agencies including the NYPD, New York State Court Officers, U.S. Secret Service, and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were reportedly in discussions about how best to secure the area around the courthouse in downtown Manhattan, says NBC.
Trump, 76, will be processed like any other defendant, including being fingerprinted, but the New York Post reports that the Secret Service will likely take the lead on whether to handcuff the former president.
In his post, Trump called the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office “corrupt & highly political.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has explored various potential criminal charges against Trump over the past few years, including a much broader financial case that prosecutors eventually declined to bring.
The hush money probe that yielded the current criminal charges has been brought back to life so many times by the Manhattan DA’s office that it became known internally as the “zombie” case.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg formally revived it, however, and began showing evidence to the grand jury about the case several weeks ago.
Trump has repeatedly denied sleeping with Daniels, and insisted he did nothing wrong.
The Manhattan indictment isn’t even the end of Trump’s legal jeopardy.
Trump remains under scrutiny in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is weighing whether to charge Trump over his attempts to reverse his 2020 election defeat. Willis said in January that charging decisions in her case are “imminent.”
Meanwhile, Special Counsel Jack Smith is leading a federal probe into Trump’s role in attempting to overturn the election and the violent aftermath at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and also into whether he broke the law by hoarding documents bearing classified markings at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.
With files from Elizabeth Landers