On Saturday(19 March 2023), former President Donald Trump said he anticipates being jailed after the years-long investigation into a hush plot involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He urged his fans to protest any such move.
In a social media post, Trump claimed that the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday(21 March 2023) next week.” He did not specify the reason for his anticipated arrest. After Trump’s tweet, his legal team maintained it had heard nothing from the prosecution.
As CNN’s John Miller reported on Friday(17 March 2023), law enforcement officials from the city, state, and federal levels have been gathering all week to discuss security measures before a possible indictment of Trump in New York City.
On Saturday, 19 March 2023, he wrote, “Protest, take our nation back,” a call to action that echoes Trump’s after the 2020 election. Many people knowledgeable on the situation have told CNN that the former President has been pushing for his team to stir up support among his followers and that he thinks an indictment would benefit him politically.
Indicting a sitting president who is seeking reelection in 2024 would be unprecedented and would immediately transform the political discourse surrounding a man who is already controversial. Trump has been involved in numerous civil lawsuits before and after becoming president, but facing criminal charges would be a significant setback to his reelection bid.
Grand jury hearings into the hush money payments will continue on Monday(20 March 2023) with the testimony of another witness, according to a person with knowledge of the case. It’s unclear if this witness will be the last one heard before the grand jury votes on whether or not to indict.
Trump’s legal team has been quietly preparing for the indictment they expect will come soon. Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina later indicated the ex-statements president were based on media accounts.
Tacopina said in a statement to CNN-
“No one tells us anything which is very frustrating. President Trump is basing his response on press reports.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has not notified Trump of any possible indictment, according to a representative for the former President, who was “rightfully emphasizing his innocence” earlier Saturday.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, tweeted on Saturday that any possible indictment of the former President would represent “an outrageous abuse of power” on the part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, foreshadowing a possible line of defense from Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Trump’s former vice president, Mike Pence, agreed with McCarthy’s message on Saturday. “Well, like many Americans, I’m simply – I’m taken aback,” Pence said in a radio interview with Breitbart News. The ex-Vice President stated that the inquiry being conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney “reeks” of “political prosecution.” On Saturday (March 18, 2023), the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office stayed mum.
Protest Appeal Reminiscent of January 6 Comments
A person familiar with what Trump has said claims the president has complained behind closed doors that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “hates him” and that this is the sole reason Trump is being prosecuted.
His appeal for a protest in the face of possible arrest is reminiscent of his final days in office when he urged his supporters to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election, leading to the murderous attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Concerned about the optics of a big protest in the streets of Manhattan becoming out of control or replicating the 2021 revolt, several of Trump’s aides had quietly advised him not to call for demonstrations.
On Monday (March 20, 2023), There Will Be Testimony From Yet Another Witness
The next step after a potential indictment would be for Trump’s legal team to be notified, at which point they would begin negotiations for surrender and initial appearance.
Grand jury hearings into the hush money payments will continue on Monday with the testimony of another witness, according to a person with knowledge of the case. It’s unclear if this witness will be the last one heard before the grand jury votes on whether or not to indict.
Team Trump has repeatedly declared that Trump will not cooperate with a grand jury. However, according to various sources, if he were to be indicted, his defense team would work with the district attorney’s office to set a mutually agreeable surrender date.
Sources say that Trump’s team has been meeting all week to prepare for various outcomes, including the president’s possible trip to New York and a remote hearing while he remains at Mar-a-Lago. It is unclear if Trump would agree to a remote appearance for security considerations in the event of an indictment, as he has also discussed with his team the desire to state the courthouse.
According to reports, Trump is also thinking about hiring a new TV-friendly lawyer who can deal with the outside media. The ex-president is known for selecting counsel and counselors based on their TV presence and ability to defend him in the press.
After seeing them on television, Trump recruited attorneys Jim Trusty and Christina Bobb; they are currently assisting the Justice Department with their investigations into the former president. The New York Times it was stated that the campaign is increasing workers to deal with the likely indictment’s impact on the campaign’s messaging.
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Law Enforcement Discussions Continue
Discussions among law enforcement have centered on how to handle the splendid scenario of an ex-president being arrested after being indicted on criminal charges by a New York county grand jury.
According to reports, a source with knowledge of the situation has stated that if the former president is indicted, he will surrender and go through the arraignment and processing procedures at the courthouse, including fingerprinting and a mug photo.
The source said that special arrangements might be made to shorten the time Trump spends in the facility and speed up the procedures necessary to process him. The source mentioned that authorities would work to have him appear before a court as soon as possible.
After CNN inquired about Trump’s tweets on Saturday, the NYPD did not immediately react. Yet, CNN cites sources within New York City law enforcement as saying that the NYPD discussed security for a possible indictment against Trump during Saturday morning’s briefing and that social media is monitored daily for any threats.
One law enforcement official told CNN they are taking a wait-and-see attitude with Trump supporters because they know his solid fan base. They are watching the issue but don’t know how many people might turn up in Manhattan this week. On Monday, there will be a more extended security briefing.
To have fingerprints taken and a mugshot taken, Trump would be transported by US Secret Service to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. After his arrest, the former president would be brought before a judge for arraignment and presumably freed on his recognizance, as is standard procedure when a defendant is permitted to surrender voluntarily.
Several issues, including courthouse security and the possibility of rallies or demonstrations outside the courthouse by Trump supporters or counter-rallies by anti-Trump protesters, with the risk of the two groups clashing, have been discussed, according to law enforcement officials with knowledge of the planning process. There have been new developments that have been added to this article.