Former US President Donald Trump is expected to be arrested next Tuesday. That’s why he called on his supporters to protest. “The towering Republican nominee and former President of the United States will be arrested Tuesday next week. Protest, take back our nation!” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social on Saturday.
Trump received support from former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “Take back the country, Americans! To battle!” Medvedev wrote on his Telegram channel on Saturday. How seriously the 57-year-old meant his demands remained unclear. He concluded his comment with the probably ironic remark that he wrote this at the request of the presidential candidate “Colonel Daniil Fyodorovich Trump”. He was probably alluding to speculation about the relationship between the former US President and the Kremlin.
“The Idiots in Europe”
In his text, Medvedev also addressed the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. “The idiots in Europe want to arrest a stranger, and on March 21 their own will be arrested in America,” wrote Medvedev, who repeatedly made verbal abuse and threats against the Western world during the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
New York prosecutors are investigating Trump over hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Trump denies having sex with the woman. In the United States, a jury decides whether to indict a case after the prosecutor has presented evidence. US media assume that this will happen to Trump in the coming days. He would be the first former US president to be indicted for an alleged crime.
Trump cited “leaky information from the corrupt and highly political Manhattan Attorney’s Office.” A spokeswoman for the public prosecutor’s office initially declined to comment. Trump himself left open whether he had been officially informed about possible charges and gave no further information about the alleged leaks in the public prosecutor’s office.
payment of hush money
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is investigating the ex-president over charges of paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, testified that she had an affair with Trump in 2006. Trump denies this. In 2016, Trump’s attorney at the time, Michael Cohen Daniels, reportedly paid $130,000 in hush money to avert damage from Trump’s presidential campaign at the time.
Bragg began presenting evidence to a grand jury earlier this year in support of the $130,000 payment. In early March, his office asked Trump to testify before the grand jury, Trump’s attorney Susan Necheles said. From the point of view of legal experts, this is a sign that an indictment may be imminent. The grand jury hearings are not public. She must decide whether to press charges.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations involving, among other things, facilitating payments to Daniels and another woman. He testified that Trump instructed him to make the payments. Trump initially denied knowing anything about the payment to Daniels in 2018. He later admitted to refunding Cohen the payment, which he called a “simple private transaction.”
“I’m back!”: Trump speaks up on Facebook
Former US President Donald Trump is also using one of the major online platforms again after months of reluctance. “I’m back!” Trump wrote on Facebook on Friday for a short video clip showing him winning the 2016 election. The world’s largest online network let him back onto the platform at the end of January – a good two years after his supporters violently stormed the US Capitol.
Trump initially preferred to continue mobilizing his supporters through his own Twitter copy, Truth Social. On Friday, too, he initially left it on Facebook with the scarce sign of life, while he distributed appeals for donations and pictures of a demonstration by his supporters at Trump Tower in New York on Truth Social, among other things.
Trump wants to run as a Republican candidate in the 2024 presidential election and has to win the party’s internal primaries to do so. More online reach would be convenient for him. He has almost five million subscribers to Truth Social and 34 million to Facebook.
Trump was banned from major online platforms towards the end of his term after his supporters stormed the US House of Representatives in Washington on January 6, 2021. Before the unprecedented events, he had goaded his supporters with the unfounded claim that he had been cheated out of the 2020 presidential election. In his online messages before and after the Capitol attack, he openly showed sympathy for the rioters. The platform operators feared that there could be new violence if Trump is not banned.
Trump has since regained access to all major online services, where he still has millions of followers. The YouTube video platform lifted the restrictions on Trump’s account on Friday. His Twitter account was reactivated in the fall at the behest of new owner Elon Musk. However, the last tweet there so far is still from January 2021. Before and during his tenure in the White House, Twitter was Trump’s most important mouthpiece, where he had more than 80 million followers before the ban and achieved worldwide attention with his messages.
However, the Facebook group Meta and the video platform YouTube emphasize that the same rules apply to Trump’s account as to others. At Meta it was said in January that violations threatened him with harsher penalties as a repeat offender – he could be banned for one month to two years. At Truth Social, Trump keeps making statements that would violate Meta’s rules against insults, among other things.
The Facebook group had initially banned Trump until further notice. But Meta’s independent oversight body, which can review content and account decisions, ultimately concluded that an indefinite ban was not covered by the platform’s rules. It decided that Trump’s accounts on Facebook and Instagram could initially only be blocked for two years – and then had to be reassessed.