Donald Trump, a former president, stated yesterday that he anticipates being detained in connection with the probe into a hush money scheme involving Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress. Trump declared on social media that the “front-runner Republican candidate and past President of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week. After Trump’s post, his staff claimed that it had not heard from the prosecution. Trump’s legal team has been planning behind the scenes for the next steps as they anticipate an indictment to occur soon.
Trump is already calling on his supporters to protest. It is to be recalled that he already appealed to supporters in the wake of the 2020 presidential election by writing: “Protest, take our nation back.” His call for a protest in reaction to a possible arrest is reminiscent of his final days in office, when he admonished his supporters to reject the 2020 presidential election results, which led to the deadly attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Some of his advisers had urged Trump privately not to call for protests, concerned about the optics of a mass protest in the streets of Manhattan growing out of control or resembling the 2021 insurrection.
Any indictment of the former president, who is up for re-election in 2024, would be an unprecedented first and drastically alter the political discourse surrounding a person who is already contentious. According to a source familiar with Trump’s comments, Trump has quietly lamented that he thinks Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, “hates” him and that’s why he thinks he’s going to be indicted.
According to several people informed on the situation, the former president has been pressuring his team to incite his base and thinks that being indicted would benefit him politically. Trump is also contemplating hiring a new TV-friendly lawyer who can handle the outside media, sources said. The former president is renowned for selecting his legal counsel and advisors based on their ability to appear on television and support him in the press.
While Trump has an extensive history of civil litigation both before and after taking office, a criminal charge would represent a dramatic escalation of his legal woes as he works to recapture the White House.
Another witness is expected to testify Monday before the grand jury investigating the hush money payments, according to a source familiar with the investigation. It is not clear whether this would be the final witness before it votes on a possible indictment.
Trump’s team has said repeatedly that he will not accept an invitation to testify before the grand jury. But multiple sources familiar with his legal team’s thinking says that if there is an indictment, he would negotiate an agreed upon surrender date with the district attorney’s office.
Some members of his legal team are advising Trump to ask for a remote appearance for security reasons should an indictment occur but it is unclear if he would agree to that as he has also discussed with his team wanting to give a statement at the courthouse, sources said.