Former President Trump suggested he will be arrested on Tuesday as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appears to be close to deciding whether to charge him in the probe into a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.
Trump said in a post on Truth Social on Saturday that “illegal leaks” indicate that “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!” Trump continued, calling on supporters to protest his potential arrest.
The post comes as multiple recent signs appear to point to the grand jury Bragg organized being close to possibly filing charges against Trump.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified before the grand jury earlier this week, and Daniels met with Manhattan prosecutors. With Cohen’s testimony, almost every major figure involved in the investigation has appeared before the grand jury.
Another sign came when Trump was invited to testify before the grand jury this week, often an indication that a decision on any charges is coming imminently. Trump’s attorney said this week that he was declining the offer.
Bragg’s investigation stems from a $130,000 payment that Cohen admitted to making to Daniels in the leadup to the 2016 election for her to remain silent about an affair she had with Trump.
Cohen pleaded guilty to a handful of charges in 2018, including one for a campaign finance violation related to the payment. He was sentenced to a few years in prison but was released early at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.
Cohen has said he paid Daniels at Trump’s direction and Trump reimbursed him for the payment. Trump has acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for the payment but denied it came from his campaign funding.
The Trump Organization declared the reimbursement to Cohen to be a legal expense.
If charges are filed against Trump, this would be the first time in U.S. history a former president is criminally indicted.
Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told The New York Daily News that Trump would not refuse to surrender himself if he is charged in the case.
A Trump spokesperson said in a statement that the former president has not been formally notified about charges being filed Tuesday. They said Trump only knows Bragg decided to “take his Witch-Hunt to the next level” through “illegal leaks” from the Justice Department and the Manhattan district attorney’s office to media outlets.
“President Trump is rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system,” they said.
The spokesperson said Trump will be in Texas next weekend for a rally.
Trump has slammed Bragg’s investigation as politically motivated, and Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said last week that Trump is “totally innocent.” Cheung said the investigation will “backfire massively” for Democrats and the country.
New York law enforcement officials have been preparing security ahead of a potential indictment against Trump. Officials told The Associated Press that they are planning security and the logistics of a former president making a court appearance.
CNN reported that senior staff members from Bragg’s office, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and New York State Court Officers have had meetings about security needs following any possible charges being filed. The court officers are responsible for securing state court facilities, including the New York Supreme Court building in Manhattan.
Officials with knowledge of the discussions told CNN that they are preparing for potential demonstrations from Trump supporters and counterprotests from Trump opponents and the possibility of the two groups confronting each other.
The NYPD and FBI have also given attention to the possibility of threats increasing against Bragg and his staff members, according to the outlet.
The concerns come after thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection after Trump called for them to protest the certification of President Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
— Updated at 10:40 a.m.