Trump Says He Expects to Be Arrested Next Week

Former president Donald Trump said Saturday morning on social media that he expects to be arrested next week. He called for protests to take place as a result.

The move comes as New York prosecutors appear to be close to indicting Trump in connection with a hush-money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Trump’s former personal attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen, who made the payment on Trump’s behalf, testified to the grand jury Monday. Daniels met with prosecutors Wednesday, but she did not testify in front of the grand jury herself.

“[Illegal leaks from the Manhattan DA’s office] indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven, & based on an old & fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!) fairytale, the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” explained Trump in all caps on Truth Social.

The former president also called for protests to take place to “take our nation back!”

Trump has repeatedly called the New York investigation a “witch hunt.”

According to CNN, the former president is expected to present himself in Manhattan following the formal charges and has expressed interest in making a speech after.

Some of Trump’s advisers have urged him privately not to call for protests, CNN reported. Trump is already under scrutiny for his behavior in connection with the 2020 election. His advisers are concerned about the optics of a Manhattan protest considering the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

According to the Associated Press, law enforcement officials in New York are already making security preparations for the possibility that Trump could be indicted and appear in a Manhattan courtroom.

The $130,000 payment in question was made to Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential election by Cohen, who in turn was reimbursed by Trump. Daniels claimed she had a sexual affair with the former president he wanted to keep secret.

Prosecutors have focused on whether Trump falsified internal business records to hide the reimbursement from voters, which would be a misdemeanor under New York law. This offense could be elevated to a felony if done to commit or conceal a second crime, in this case a potential violation of campaign finance laws. Prosecutors could argue that the hush-money payment effectively became an illegal donation to Trump’s campaign under the theory that his candidacy benefited from Daniels’ silence.

Reaction to Trump’s post was swift. Cohen, speaking to the New York Post, criticized the call for protests.

“Donald’s post is eerily similar to his battle cry prior to the January 6th insurrection…By doing so, Donald is hoping to rile his base, witness another violent clash on his behalf and profit from it by soliciting contributions,” Cohen said.

House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) called the impending indictment “an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA” and said he would direct relevant House committees to investigate if federal funds are being used in politically-motivated prosecutions.

Trump’s statement also comes in the wake of other investigations into him gaining steam.

Dozens of Mar-a-Lago staffers have been subpoenaed in special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into Trump’s handling of classified documents. In a third probe, a Georgia grand jury heard another recording of Trump allegedly interfering in the 2020 election. Grand jurors told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Trump asked late house speaker David Ralston in a call to convene a special session of the Legislature to overturn Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia.

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