Donald Trump assured Saturday that he was going to be “arrested” on Tuesday and called for demonstrations, before a possible indictment concerning a case of payment just before the 2016 presidential election, to buy the silence of a pornographic actress with whom he would have had an affair.
“The Republican Party candidate” in the 2024 presidential primary “and former President of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week”, launched Donald Trump on his social network Truth Social in capital letters, as is customary.
“Protest, take back our nation!”, added Mr. Trump, in a message whose tone recalls those published before the January 6, 2021 assault on the United States Capitol, which he is accused of having incited.
The indictment of a former US president would be unprecedented in the United States.
Even if it would not prevent Donald Trump from remaining a candidate for president, the explosive nature of such a judicial decision could have uncertain consequences for the campaign – by putting him in difficulty against his Republican rivals, or on the contrary by stimulating its base.
Asked by AFP, one of Donald Trump’s lawyers, Susan Necheles, replied that her client had decided to speak “on the basis of press information” published for a few days on a possible indictment next week. .
“Because this is a political prosecution, the District Attorney’s Office is resorting to leaks to the press rather than communicating with President Trump’s lawyers as they normally should.” , denounced Ms. Necheles.
Rumors of a possible criminal indictment have swirled since Mr. Trump was asked to testify before a grand jury — a panel of citizens with broad investigative powers charged with ratifying an indictment. A possible sign of the prosecution’s desire to prosecute the former president in the so-called “Stormy Daniels” case.
In question, 130,000 dollars paid to this actress and director of pornographic films, Stephanie Clifford of her real name, for – accuses the New York justice – to buy her silence and thus not to harm the candidate Trump during the presidential election of November 2016, finally won by the Republican billionaire against Hillary Clinton.
The payment of this sum, in itself legal, poses a problem because the New York prosecutor’s office considers that it is a hidden donation to the president’s campaign, in violation of electoral financing laws.
A few hours after his first publication on Saturday, Donald Trump renewed his call: “We must save America, demonstrate, demonstrate, demonstrate!!!”
These messages echo the one he launched at the end of 2020, convinced that he had been “robbed” of the election against Joe Biden, for his supporters to demonstrate in Washington on January 6, 2021, a prelude to their assault on the US Capitol, seat of legislative power, which had shocked America and the world.
Banned from Twitter and other major social networks in the wake of what had been seen as incitement to violence, he was recently reinstated to the blue bird network, as well as Youtube and Facebook.
“The former president’s announcement this morning is dangerous,” said Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who was president of the House of Representatives at the time of the attack on the Capitol. She accused him of wanting to “keep making headlines and provoking his supporters”.
‘Corrupt’ Democratic prosecutor
Donald Trump, who will hold a meeting next Saturday in Waco, Texas, described on Truth Social the services of the Manhattan prosecutor, Democrat Alvin Bragg, as “corrupt and very political”.
And Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy denounced on Twitter an “outrageous abuse of power by an extremist district attorney who lets violent criminals run while seeking political revenge against President Trump”.
Targeted in several court cases, the former Republican president (2017-2021) has never been charged.
It was his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who had become one of his worst enemies, who was responsible for paying the 130,000 dollars to Ms. Clifford so that she silenced this supposed 2006 relationship with Donald Trump. Already convicted in the case, Mr. Cohen testified at least twice before the grand jury last week.
Billionaire Elon Musk, who allowed the reinstatement of the former president on Twitter, for his part estimated on Saturday that in the event of arrest, “Trump will be (it) re-elected in a landslide victory” in November 2024.