Trump’s arrest scheduled for Tuesday, says former president on social media

Trump Legal Troubles 85966 1 1

By MICHELLE L. PRICE and JILL COLVIN (Associated Press)

NEW YORK (AP) – Donald Trump said in a social media post he expects to be arrested on Tuesday, as a New York prosecutor is looking into charges in a case examining money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president. Trump has not provided any evidence to suggest he was directly informed of an pending arrest and has not said how he knew of such plans.

But in a Saturday morning message on his Truth Social network, Trump noted “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office that he said indicate “LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.”

Danielle Filson of the district attorney’s office said prosecutors “will refuse to confirm or comment” on matters related to Trump’s position, as well as potential charges. A Trump spokesman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump’s indictment, 76, would be an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal affairs. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump, a 2024 presidential nominee, lied and cheated his way to the top and encourage supporters who feel the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.

In his social media post, Trump repeated his lies that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was stolen and urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION!” This language evoked the message of the then president that preceded the riot in the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, when his supporters broke down doors and windows of that building and left police officers beaten and bloodied as they tried to prevent the certification of the election.

Police officers in New York are making security preparations for the possibility of Trump being indicted.

There was no public announcement of any time frame for the grand jury’s secret work on the case, including any potential vote on whether or not to indict the former president.

Trump’s post echoes one last summer, when he broke the news on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his home as part of an investigation into possible mishandling of classified documents.

The grand jury in Manhattan heard witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.

Trump denies the encounters took place, says he did nothing wrong and has branded the investigation a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the 2024 Republican presidential campaign.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office is apparently looking into whether any state laws were violated in connection with the payments or the way Trump’s company compensated Cohen for her work to keep the women’s allegations quiet.

Daniels and at least two former Trump aides – former political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks – are among the witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.

Cohen said that under Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payments were to buy his silence on Trump, who was at the height of his first presidential campaign.

Cohen and federal prosecutors said the company paid him $420,000 to reimburse him for paying Daniels $130,000 and to cover bonuses and other alleged expenses. The company classified these payments internally as legal expenses. The $150,000 payment to McDougal was made by the then-editor of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer, which prevented his story from coming to light.

Federal prosecutors agreed not to sue the Enquirer’s corporate parent in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation that led to charges against Cohen in 2018. Prosecutors said the payments to Daniels and McDougal amounted to impermissible gifts and not registered for Trump’s election effort.

Cohen pleaded guilty, served jail time, and was expelled. Federal prosecutors never charged Trump with any crime. ___

Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina contributed to this report.

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