Donald Trump calls for protest on Truth Social, saying he will soon be arrested
Trump’s advisers and lawyers have been expecting for days that he will be charged in the New York case, which hinges on a $130,000 payment to an adult movie star.
But Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said on Saturday morning there had been no ‘notice’ of an indictment and said Trump supporters should attend a rally he is organizing next week in Texas for re-election in 2024.
Susan Necheles, a lawyer for Trump, said her remark about the timing of his arrest was gleaned from the media on Friday about local and federal law enforcement expecting to meet early next week to discuss security and logistics related to Trump’s anticipated indictment.
“Since this is a political prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office has engaged in a practice of leaking everything to the press, rather than contacting President Trump’s attorneys as would be the case in a normal case,” Necheles said in a statement.
Two other people close to the former president who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private conversations said they were unsure when or even if he would be charged. They said advisers and lawyers on his team had warned Trump in recent days that an indictment could come early next week, including the possibility of Tuesday, but were unsure why he chose that. that day in his message.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The status of the main investigations involving Donald Trump
Secret Service officials were surprised Saturday morning by Trump’s post predicting an arrest on Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive planning. During Friday’s talks in preparation for Trump’s possible indictment in New York, Secret Service chiefs expected Trump’s legal team to notify them immediately when his attorneys hear of any planned indictments.
Secret Service officials also expect the district attorney’s office to negotiate terms under which Trump could voluntarily surrender. Lawyers provided no such notification, according to the person familiar with Secret Service planning.
The prosecutor, the ex-president and the ‘zombie’ case that came back to life
Trump’s message echoed his call at the end of 2020 for his supporters to come to Washington on Jan. 6 to protest the election results, urging them to “Be there, it will be wild.” On Saturday, Truth Social users posted comments such as “all hell will break loose” in response to the possibility of Trump’s indictment.
Mary McCord, director of a democracy advocacy center at Georgetown Law School, said Trump stokes extremists who might engage in violence.
“Trump knows the call-and-response impact of his words on his most ardent supporters. is not just the request, but the permission for them to act, violently if necessary,” McCord added. “Protest is protected and valued in America, but violence and incitement to violence is illegal and not protected by the First Amendment.”
McCord and his organization repeatedly warned the FBI and local authorities in the weeks leading up to Jan. 6 that domestic extremists emboldened by Trump’s call to his rally in Washington planned to target the Capitol that day and attack both the police and lawmakers.
A preliminary security planning meeting has already taken place recently involving the district attorney’s office and the New York Police Department, according to a person familiar with the planning. This person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic.
Trump’s indictment would be a jaw-dropping moment: A former president, who faces a slew of other investigations into his handling of classified documents and the Jan. 6 attack, has been charged with a pay-per-view adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The case involves a $130,000 payment that Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer, made to Daniels before the 2016 presidential election, and if it was made to keep her quiet about allegations that she and Trump allegedly had an affair, which he denied.
Cohen acknowledged making the payment, saying he expected to be reimbursed; this reimbursement would have been documented as payment for legal work.
The case had been under scrutiny for years by authorities, but prosecutors have so far declined to prosecute Trump. But in recent weeks, Bragg has escalated the matter.
Meanwhile, Trump’s team has begun fundraising in anticipation of his arrest, after the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home last year led to his best fundraising days. funds since leaving the White House, as reported by The Washington Post.
“MANHATTAN DA COULD BE CLOSE TO CHARGE TRUMP,” read a pitch on Saturday morning. “Patriot – With the Deep State targeting President Trump with fake witch hunts like never before, we had to be sure you saw the *private and secure* message he wrote for YOU. See below!”
Trump and his team are gearing up for a “political war”, in the words of one adviser, to attack the credibility of Bragg, Cohen and Daniels. Trump, who was kicked off numerous social media platforms after the Jan. 6 attack, has his accounts back. On Friday, he posted on Facebook and YouTube, telling his followers he was back online.
Trump also wants to force other Republicans to publicly defend him against the investigation, the adviser said.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy came to Trump’s defense on Saturday morning, calling for a congressional investigation of the Manhattan District Attorney. “I call on the appropriate committees to immediately investigate whether federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions,” McCarthy said. wrote on Twitter.
Ali Alexander, a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally organizer, appeared to back away from Trump’s pleas in a post on Twitter in response to Trump’s post. Alexander suggested that people protesting in New York “will be jailed or worse.” He instead urged his supporters to help the families of those arrested on charges related to the Jan. 6 attack.
“I previously said that if Trump was arrested or threatened with a perp march, 100,000 patriots should close all roads to Mar-a-Largo,” Alexander said on the Telegram platform. “Now I am retired. I will pray for him though!
Trump supporter and anti-abortion campaigner Frank Pavone, however, seemed eager to appeal to his supporters. “Oh yes, we will protest, and it will be resounding with an overwhelming majority!” Pavone wrote.
Trump wrote a second Truth Social post later that day calling on his supporters to “PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST” in what appeared to be complaints about Biden’s presidency.
Various authorities and investigators continue to examine Trump’s role on January 6 as well as the potential mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Separately, Georgia prosecutors are nearing the end of their investigation into his efforts to nullify the state’s election results.
Advisers said Trump had focused on investigations in recent months and had long feared a possible arrest or indictment.
After posting on Truth Social, Trump reportedly played golf Saturday at his club in Jupiter, Florida.