Former US President Donald Trump said he will be arrested on Tuesday (21/03) and called on his followers to protest in the streets.
The statement, made this Saturday (18/03), was not confirmed by his lawyers, who stressed that they had not received any information from the authorities and that the speculations are based only on reports from some local media outlets.
Federal prosecutors are working to find evidence of crimes committed by Trump before and during his term as president. According to several reports, a formal charge could be made next week.
If this charge is actually filed, it would be the first time a criminal case has been filed against a former US president.
For the past five years, New York prosecutors have been investigating allegations that Trump made illegal payments to former porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels alleged that Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney, paid her $130,000 in exchange for her not speaking publicly before the 2016 election about her extramarital affair with Trump.
The former president denied that he had a sexual relationship with Daniels and said the investigation was politically motivated.
This is one of the cases for which Trump, 76, is being investigated, although he has never been formally charged until now and has always denied that he committed any crime.
Trump has made it clear that he will continue his campaign to become the Republican Party’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election, even if he faces formal charges.
Past efforts to bring him to justice — including two impeachment attempts in Congress, an investigation into possible Russian intervention and court operations at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida — have helped boost his popularity among his followers. So such an accusation could have a similar effect.
Although it is not possible to know if he will be officially charged this week and for what possible crimes, the former president decided to anticipate this possibility and mobilized his followers.
Trump has already shown that he has a loyal following, as evidenced by the takeover of the Capitol on January 6, 2021, when hundreds of people forced their way into the government building to annul the results of the election, where he had been defeated.
This Saturday, Trump wrote on his social network “Truth Social” that “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan district attorney’s office in New York “would indicate” that he would be arrested on March 21.
The Manhattan District Attorney declined to comment on the matter. Trump’s lawyer, Sudan Necheles, said her team was not notified of the case.
“Since this is a political charge, the District Attorney’s office has engaged in the practice of leaking everything to the press, rather than contacting President Trump’s attorneys as they would in a normal case,” she said.
the court cases
The Stormy Daniels case took a big step forward earlier this month when Trump was asked to testify before a grand jury, which experts say means he could face criminal charges soon.
The hearings are held in secret, and several former Trump advisers are said to have testified before the judges.
US media say New York justice units are preparing for the possibility that Trump will be indicted and appear in a Manhattan courthouse next week.
According to the Associated Press, local officials are considering the practicalities of taking a former president to court, including security concerns.
Another Trump lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, told the news agency that “we will follow normal procedures” if he is indicted.
Donald Trump faces a separate criminal investigation into attempts to overturn his narrow defeat in the state of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, although it is not known whether the former president is under direct investigation.
The US Department of Justice is also investigating whether secret government documents found at his Mar-a-Lago residence were damaged after Trump left office, as well as broader efforts to undermine the results of the presidential election three years ago. including the attack on January 6.
– This text was published in https://www.bbc.com/english/articles/cx0nqxgwed0o
BBC News Brazil – All rights reserved. Any type of reproduction without written permission from BBC News Brasil is prohibited.