Former President Donald Trump, despite no word from a Manhattan grand jury, predicted his arrest in New York City next week — and called on supporters to protest his anticipated arraignment.
Trump, writing Saturday on his Truth Social website, announced he will return to the city to face unspecified charges in the Manhattan district attorney’s long-running investigation of the 76-year-old former commander-in-chief.
“The far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” posted Trump. “Protest, take our nation back!”
If Trump is right, his criminal case will mark the first against a former president in American history. But there was no indication the grand jury has returned an indictment at this point, and a source connected to the case said Trump’s claim came despite no official word from prosecutors.
NYPD sources did say police and the Secret Service were coordinating on a plan for Trump’s surrender if an indictment is returned, with extra manpower in place and the possible shutdown of nearby streets.
Trump’s words echoed his calls to action of January 2021 when his fiery speeches and tweets spurred a riot at the U.S. Capitol.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined “to confirm or comment” on any aspect of the Trump posting. The ex-president offered no details on how he learned about the supposed date for his arrest.
But Bragg was believed to be on the cusp of a charging decision in his office’s long-running investigation into Trump, his business dealings and the infamous hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels and two former Trump aides, Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway, are among witnesses who met with prosecutors in recent weeks. The ex-president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has said he funneled $130,000 to Daniels to ensure her silence back in 2016 Trump later paid him back.
He said he helped arrange a $150,000 payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal to kill her story, which the National Enquirer’s publisher paid out.
The NYPD sources added authorities would be scouring social media over the coming days to determine if any pro-Trump groups like the Proud Boys were planning protests linked to an arrest.
Fabian Levy, spokesman for Mayor Adams, said the city was braced for whatever happens in the coming days.
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“In coordination with other local, state, and federal law enforcement, the NYPD always remains prepared to respond to events happening on the ground and keep New Yorkers safe,” he said.
In Saturday’s social media tirade, Trump said that Bragg is “funded by George Soros” and the investigation was “based on an old & fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!) fairytale.”
He also took a swipe at Bragg’s handling of the state’s bail reform laws, claiming that his office “has allowed new records to be set in violent crime.”
Grand jury proceedings are confidential, and it was not known whether the group impaneled in January will vote to indict Trump.
If Trump is charged, he must surrender to New York authorities and appear in court to enter a plea. A judge could theoretically agree to conduct the hearing remotely, but no criminal defendants are being arraigned virtually at present, according to Lucian Chalfen from the Office of Court Administration.
Trump plans to turn himself in if the Manhattan district attorney criminally indicts him, his lawyer told the Daily News on Friday.
“There won’t be a standoff at Mar-a-Lago with Secret Service and the Manhattan DA’s office,” Joe Tacopina said.
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