Former President Claims Illegal Leaks in Social Media Post
Former President Donald Trump suggested in a social media post that he may be arrested on Tuesday as a New York prosecutor investigates hush money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with him. Trump did not provide any evidence that he was directly informed of a pending arrest or how he knew of such plans.
|Trump Says He could be arrested on Tuesday|
In a message posted on his Truth Social network on Saturday morning, Trump claimed that “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan district attorney’s office indicate that “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK.” However, Danielle Filson of the district attorney’s office declined to confirm or comment on Trump’s post or potential charges.
An indictment of Trump, who is 76 years old, would be a significant development after years of investigations into his business, political, and personal dealings. It is likely to energize critics who say Trump lied and cheated his way to the top, and embolden supporters who feel he is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.
In his social media post, Trump repeated his false claim that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was stolen and urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” This language evokes the message from Trump that preceded the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when his supporters broke through doors and windows of the building and left officers beaten and bloodied as they tried to stop the certification of the election.
Law enforcement officials in New York have been making security preparations for the possibility that Trump could be indicted. However, there has been no public announcement of any time frame for the grand jury’s secret work in the case, including any potential vote on whether to indict the ex-president.
Trump’s post echoes one he made last summer when he announced on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his home as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents.
Grand Jury Examining Hush Money Payments to Silence Women
The grand jury in Manhattan has been hearing from witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he arranged payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier. Trump denies the encounters occurred and claims he did nothing wrong.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has been examining whether any state laws were broken in connection with the payments or the way Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work to keep the women’s allegations quiet. Porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal are among the witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.
Cohen has said that, at Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to Daniels and McDougal. The company paid Cohen $420,000 to reimburse him for the $130,000 payment to Daniels and to cover bonuses and other expenses. The $150,000 payment to McDougal was made by the then-publisher of the National Enquirer, which kept her story from coming to light.
Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the Enquirer’s corporate parent in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation that led to charges against Cohen in 2018. Prosecutors said the payments to Daniels and McDougal amounted to impermissible, unrecorded gifts to Trump’s election effort.
Cohen pleaded guilty, served prison time, and was disbarred. Federal prosecutors never charged Trump with any crime.
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