The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is widely expected to charge Trump in connection with a hush-money scheme involving an adult film star during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Donald Trump said early Saturday that he will be arrested on Tuesday as Manhattan prosecutors weigh charges against the former president for his role in a hush-money scheme involving an adult film star.
Trump made the allegation in an all-caps statement on his social media site, Truth Social. He directed his supporters to protest and “TAKE OUR NATION BACK” – a call to action that echoes statements he made in the days leading up to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” his statement Saturday read in part.
Trump did not give any evidence surrounding how he knew of the timing of a possible arrest, citing only “ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE.”
An indictment from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is widely expected, but its timing remains uncertain. Law enforcement agencies are reportedly preparing for protests in the wake of an indictment as soon as early next week.
The district attorney, Alvin Bragg, convened a grand jury earlier this year as part of a probe into Trump’s role in the hush money scheme involving Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who alleges that she had an extramarital affair with Trump.
The probe stems from years-ago revelations that Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels $130,000 as part of a deal he negotiated with her in October 2016 to keep her quiet about the affair during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen was then reimbursed by Trump’s company.
Prosecutors said the money amounted to an unrecorded gift to Trump’s presidential campaign. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Bragg’s office has been examining whether Trump oversaw the false recording of the expenses in company records and broke the law in doing so. The payments to Cohen were recorded as “legal expenses.”
Cohen has also said that he arranged another payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal for a similar purpose. The payment for McDougal was made by the then-publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, according to Cohen.
The indictment of Trump, who is currently the front-runner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, would be a seismic development after years of numerous investigations into his conduct and business practices, and it would likely only serve to catalyze his supporters among the Republican base.