New York – Donald Trump said Saturday that his arrest is imminent and issued an unusual call for his supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates payments to women who say they had sex with the now-former president so that they they will keep silence
Although a lawyer and spokesperson for Trump said that she had not received any message from the prosecution, the former president assured in a message on his social network that he expects to be arrested next Tuesday.
His message appears to preempt a formal announcement by prosecutors in order to provoke the ire of his supporters, before charges are filed. Within hours he sent an email to his supporters to raise funds, while influential Republican lawmakers issued statements in his defense.RELATED
In a subsequent message that went far beyond urging his faithful to protest, the 2024 presidential candidate directed his fury in capital letters at the government of President Joe Biden and expressed the prospect of a social uprising: “THE TIME HAS COME! !!”, wrote. “WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE. THEY ARE KILLING OUR NATION WHILE WE SIT BY. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA! LET’S PROTEST, LET’S PROTEST, LET’S PROTEST!!!”
His words evoked in dark terms the rhetoric he used shortly before the insurrection on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021. After hearing from the then-president during a rally in Washington that morning, his supporters marched on Capitol Hill and tried to stop the certification. of the victory of Democrat Joe Biden, they broke doors and windows and left beaten and bloody.
Prosecutor Alvin Bragg is believed to be considering filing charges in the bribery case, and recently offered Trump a chance to testify before a jury. Local police chiefs are bracing for potential public safety consequences as a result of an unprecedented indictment of a former US president.
But no time frame for the grand jury’s work, which is done in secret, has been publicly announced. Testimony is awaited from at least one other witness, indicating that a possible indictment has not been put to a vote, according to a person familiar with the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to do so publicly.
This did not stop Trump from saying in a partially all-caps message on his Social Truth network that “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan district attorney’s office indicate that ‘THE LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY IN THE NEXT WEEK'”.
Trump did not provide any details on the social network about how he allegedly learned that he will be arrested. In his writings, the former president repeated his lies that the 2020 presidential election and that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden were stolen.
Trump’s posts on Saturday echoed one he made last summer when he announced on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his home as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of documents with confidentiality seals.
The grand jury in Manhattan has been hearing witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who alleges he arranged payments in 2016 to two women to stop talking about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.
Trump denies any such encounters occurred, maintains he did nothing wrong and that the investigation is actually part of a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor hell-bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 presidential campaign.
Prosecutor Bragg has apparently been looking into whether state laws were violated in connection with the alleged payments or the way Cohen was compensated by Trump’s company for his work to silence the two women.
Cohen has said that, under Trump’s orders, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payments were to stop them from talking about their relationship with Trump, who was in the midst of his first presidential campaign.
Daniels and at least two former Trump aides, former political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks, are among witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.