He would be the first president to be charged with an alleged crime: Donald Trump says he will be arrested early next week. The former US President writes this in an unprecedented post on his “Truth Social” platform.
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. As a Source for this previously unconfirmed assumption, the 76-year-old gave “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan Attorney’s Office. When asked, the agency declined to comment on the Trump post.
The New York prosecutor’s office is currently investigating Trump for paying hush money to two women: model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she had sex with Trump in 2006. According to his own statements, his lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, who has since moved away from him, paid her in 2016 on behalf of Trump’s hush money in the amount of 130,000 dollars (around 122,000 euros). The payment was apparently intended to prevent Clifford from going public, which could have harmed Trump during the election campaign.
Trump and his lawyers conceded payment. Trump did not have an affair with Daniels. Prosecutors in New York are now asking whether Trump violated campaign finance laws by making the payment. While hush money isn’t illegal in the US, prosecutors could present Daniels’ $130,000 as a campaign donation illegal in New York state. Prosecutors could argue that hush money directly benefited his candidacy.
A jury will now decide whether to press charges in the case after prosecutors have presented evidence. US media expect this to happen in the coming days. As the “New York Times” reports, there is currently no indication that Trump will actually be arrested on Tuesday. People familiar with the matter told the newspaper that one more witness is due to testify before the jury, which could delay a possible indictment.
Guilty verdict would not stand in the way of candidacy
The “New York Times” also quotes three unnamed people from Trump’s environment, according to which the former president’s team currently has no precise knowledge of the period in which charges could be brought or when an arrest can be expected. One of those people, who is not authorized to speak publicly, said Trump’s advisors suspected it could happen around Tuesday. Someone on the team may have told Trump that too.
A few hours after the 76-year-old posted his post, a spokesman for Trump officially issued the statement that the ex-president did not write his post with direct knowledge of the time of an arrest. His attorney, Susan R. Necheles, is quoted by the newspaper as saying Trump’s post was based on news reports. She accused the New York Attorney’s Office of conducting a “political prosecution”.
Trump would be the first former US president to be indicted for an alleged crime. He himself calls the allegations against him in his post on “Truth Social” “fairy tale”. The Republican announced a new presidential bid last November and wants to retake the White House in the 2024 elections.
Even if he were charged, Trump had made it clear in advance that he had no intention of withdrawing his application. Many months or, in extreme cases, years could pass before a possible conviction. And even a guilty verdict wouldn’t legally stop Trump from running for the 2024 election. Whether the Republican base would be willing to rally behind a candidate charged in connection with dubious hush-money payments to a porn star remains to be seen. In the past, similarly spicy allegations have not diminished Trump’s popularity with his supporters. However, he has not yet appeared in court himself.
“Fight for Truth and Justice”
Last Wednesday, porn star Daniels testified before the New York Attorney’s Office: “At the request of the Manhattan Attorney’s Office, Stormy Daniels and I met with prosecutors today,” her attorney Clark Brewster tweeted. “Stormy has responded to questions and has agreed to be available as a witness or for further investigation if necessary.” Daniels also tweeted thanking her attorney for “helping us in our ongoing fight for truth and justice.”
Trump’s recent call for protests, meanwhile, brought back memories of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Back then, Trump supporters violently entered the House of Representatives in Washington to prevent the official confirmation of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory over Republican Trump . Trump had previously incited her to repeat his false allegations of voter fraud during an appearance.
The former president has repeatedly tried in the past to portray investigations against him as politically motivated and to stylize himself as an innocent victim. The ex-president recently described the case in New York as a “witch hunt”. In his recent post on Truth Social, Trump called the New York City Attorney’s office “corrupt” and “highly political.” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted that the prosecution’s actions were “a heinous abuse of power” and an act of political revenge.