Trump expects to be arrested in a alleged sexual case
NEW YORK –
Donald Trump said in a social media post that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as a New York prosecutor is charged with an investigation into bribery payments to women who allegedly had sex with the former president. Trump did not provide any evidence to suggest that he was directly informed of the pending arrest, nor did he say how he knew about such plans.
But A Trump sent a message on his “Truth” social network Saturday morning “Illegitimate leak” from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that says “FAR LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE ARREST NEXT WEEK Tuesday.”
Daniel Filson of the district attorney’s office said prosecutors would “decline to confirm or comment” on matters related to Trump’s tenure as well as potential charges. A spokesman for Trump did not immediately return calls for comment.
The indictment of Trump, 76, would be an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings. That is likely to embolden critics who say Trump, the 2024 presidential candidate, lied and cheated his way to the top, and embolden supporters who believe the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.
In a social media post, Trump repeated his lie that the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden, was stolen, and urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION.” That language prompted a message from the then-president that preceded the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol, when his supporters stormed the building’s doors and windows and left officers battered and bloodied in an attempt to stop the certification. choice
New York law enforcement officials are making security preparations for the possibility of Trump being indicted.
There has been no public announcement of any timeline for the secret jury work in the case, including any possible vote on whether to indict the former president.
Trump’s post echoes one made last summer, when he broke news on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his home as part of an investigation into the possible misuse of classified documents.
A Manhattan grand jury is hearing witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he arranged payments to two women in 2016 to keep them quiet about sexual relations they said they had with Trump a decade ago.
Trump denies the meetings took place, says he did nothing wrong and has called the investigation a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 presidential campaign.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office appears to be looking into whether state laws were violated in the payments or how Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work to keep the women’s allegations quiet.
Daniels and at least two former Trump aides, onetime political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks, are among the witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.
Cohen said that at Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougall. According to Cohen, the payments were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the midst of his first presidential campaign.
Cohen and federal prosecutors said the company paid him $420,000 to pay Daniels $130,000 and cover bonuses and other alleged expenses. The company classified these payments internally as legal expenses. The $150,000 payment to McDougall was made by the then-publisher of the National Enquirer supermarket, which prevented her story from being published.
Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the Enquirer’s corporate parent in exchange for its cooperation in the campaign finance investigation that led to the charges against Cohen in 2018.
Cohen pleaded guilty, served prison time and lost his job. Federal prosecutors have never charged Trump with any crime.
Associated Press writer Meg Kinard in Columbia, South Carolina contributed to this report.
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