Former President Trump said Saturday that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday in connection to an unprecedented criminal charge by the Manhattan district attorney over hush money payment to a porn star during the 2016 presidential election.
In a Truth Social post, Trump cited “illegal leaks” from the “corrupt and highly political” Manhattan District Attorney’s Office indicating that the “far [and] away leading Republican candidate [and] former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote.
“Protest, take our nation back!” Trump added.
A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined Saturday to comment on Trump’s post.
Trump would be the first sitting or former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges. No former president has ever been indicted for a crime, but many political candidates and other officeholders have been charged and convicted of crimes — and for some, it has never derailed their political careers. The Justice Department has a long-standing policy of not charging a sitting president, and the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan did not appear to revisit the case after Trump left office in the last 2 years.
A flurry of news reports Friday evening reported that meetings have been going on throughout the past week among law enforcement authorities in New York City to begin discussions about the security issues and logistics involved in responding to a potential indictment of Trump. It’s unclear whether the potential criminal charge would
Trump is under investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for his alleged role in the hush money payment to a porn star actress just days before the 2016 presidential election. Another witness is expected to testify on Monday before the grand jury, according to a law enforcement source, but is it unclear whether this person would be the final witness before the panel votes on any possible indictment.
Trump reimbursed his former personal attorney Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment, recording the hush money as legal expenses reimbursement through the Trump organization.
Trump denies the affair and has condemned the probe as another partisan witch hunt. Cohen previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2018 and was charged with federal criminal campaign charges related to making the payment to Daniels.
However, under New York law, the statutory status for prosecutors to bring charges against companies for misclassifying the nature of expenses has long expired two years. Such crimes are classified as a misdemeanor but can be raised to a felony if prosecutors can prove the intended misclassified expenses was done as a cover for another crime. Given that Bragg is more than likely to bring indictment charges against the former president due to his recent grand jury invitation extended to Trump, the Manhattan D.A. faces several hurdles in bringing elevating a false paperwork case from a misdemeanor to a felony hinging on an untested legal theory.
Legal experts from both sides of the aisles have raised questions regarding the strength of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump, given how state and federal investigators have mostly tabled the frivolous case from moving forward. Bragg empaneled the investigation in recent months after balking last year when taking office from moving forward in pursuing charges against Trump related to Daniels. This led to two of the top leading prosecutors quitting in protest, with one publishing a recently released book that details the internal deliberations regarding Bragg not proceeding with bringing charges against Trump on broad tax fraud and business fraud.
If the Manhattan grand jury votes to indict Trump, it could turn the 2024 campaign upside as this sensitive situation carries more risk of being seen as a political prosecution
The investigation focuses on a far narrower issue: whether Trump committed a crime by disguising the $130,000 hush money payment to alleged cover-up to commit another crime. Misclassifying the nature of expenses under New York state law is considered a misdemeanor charge. If Bragg raises the charges to a felony, he has to prove the misstatement of legal expenses was done to cover up another crime.
The hush money is separately under criminal investigation by the Justice Department for his handling of classified material at Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House; and by the Justice Department and Fulton County district attorney over alleged efforts to block President Biden’s 2020 election victory.
Trump has promised to “absolutely” stay in the 2024 race even if he’s indicted, telling reporters earlier this month before his CPAC speech, “I wouldn’t even think about leaving. Probably it will enhance my numbers.”2024 Election2024 WatchAlvin BraggDonald TrumpManhattan Grand JuryMichael CohenStormy DanielsTrump Indictment