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Donald Trump predicts his arrest is imminent and his legal team has been actively preparing for it.
For the past few weeks, Trump and his team have been in talks about how to deal with the indictment they expect soon from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, two sources familiar with the matter tell Rolling Stone. Those talks included discussions of the legal and logistical issues surrounding an indictment against a former president, the sources said.
“How would that work with the Secret Service? How would booking Donald Trump even look like? How big is the show Alvin Bragg wants to put on? How cooperative should they [former] be President?” says one of the people. “These are all kinds of questions that have been asked, including by [Trump]…because this is unlike anything that has happened before in our history.”
Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Saturday morning that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday. At the end of an all-caps post in which he criticized Bragg and maintained his innocence, he wrote: “THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE ARRESTED TUESDAY NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION!”
Fox News reported Friday that Manhattan prosecutors have requested a meeting with law enforcement to discuss the logistics surrounding the possible indictment of Trump. The former president has round-the-clock protection from the Secret Service, raising questions about how routine procedures – like fingerprinting – would work amid a cabal of armed guards and apparent security concerns linked to an ex-president. Fox News, citing a source, said Manhattan prosecutors had requested a Thursday meeting to “discuss the logistics for some time next week, which would mean they face an indictment next week.”
The possible charges are believed to relate to a $130,000 hush money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels in October 2016. Daniels was willing to go public with her claim that she and Trump had a sexual encounter about 10 years ago. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, made the payment. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to illegally paying two women “at the direction” of Trump. Editors Favorites
While it’s not illegal to pay someone to hide something embarrassing, prosecutors could claim that Trump’s repayment of Cohen could include falsified business records, the New York Times reported. Court documents in Cohen’s federal attorney’s office, the newspaper said, said Trump’s firm misrepresented the repayments as legal costs.
As they prepare for possible indictments, much of Trump’s team is unconcerned about the political ramifications. Indeed, within the twice-impeached ex-president’s inner political orbit, there is a widespread belief that criminal charges from the Manhattan DA’s office would only increase Trump’s popularity among the Republican primary voters of 2024. “Every other legal prosecution of him – two impeachments, the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago and the assaults [on] his business — backfired,” argues John McLaughlin, a top Trump pollster, Friday afternoon. “This is going to backfire massively.” (After the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s popularity among GOP voters soared in an August Morning Consult/Politico poll.)
The anticipated charges against Trump come after years of investigations by Manhattan prosecutors into alleged financial crimes. In May 2021, then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. convened a grand jury to investigate him. In July 2021, Trump’s longtime chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg — as well as the former president’s eponymous companies — faced tax fraud charges for facilitating the payment of $1.7 million in untaxed benefits to the ex-president’s financier .
Weisselberg committed tax crimes in August and said he colluded with the Trump Organization in a scheme to evade taxes. In December, Trump’s eponymous company was found guilty of tax fraud in a Manhattan bombing trial in which prosecutors claimed he “explicitly sanctioned” financial misconduct. Related
While Trump’s indictment must follow the same legal procedures as others, it’s unclear if he will receive the same treatment as any other disgraced celebrity charged – and how access to trials based on his status will affect it. Trending
In high-profile cases, the defendants are usually led through the courtroom, in front of television cameras and still photographers as they are led into the courtroom, and they are usually handcuffed. And while high-profile trials involve far more space and chaos than ordinary hearings, they’re still public — meaning press and viewers alike are free to come and go as they please.
It’s unclear how much Bragg’s office thought about this element of logistics planning. “Our law enforcement department has not yet had an official or unofficial meeting about anything,” a New York court spokesman said. “Should there be a discussion when the time comes, there will be.”