Former US President Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that his arrest was imminent and issued an extraordinary call for his supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president.
Despite no evidence that Manhattan prosecutors have given any official notice to him or his lawyers, Trump declared in a post on his social media platform that he expected to be taken into custody on Tuesday.
In its direct encouragement of protest, and his capital letter demand to “TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” the post evoked in foreboding ways the rhetoric he used shortly before the insurrection at the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
After hearing from the then-president at a Washington rally that morning, his supporters marched to the Capitol and tried to stop the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden's White House victory, breaking through doors and windows of the building and leaving officers beaten and bloodied.
The Associated Press aid that District Attorney Alvin Bragg is thought to be eyeing charges in the hush money investigation, and recently offered Trump a chance to testify before the grand jury. Local law enforcement officials are bracing for the public safety ramifications of an unprecedented prosecution of a former American president.
But there has been no public announcement of any time frame for the grand jury’s secret work in the case. At least one additional witness is expected to testify, further indicating that no vote to indict has yet been taken, according to a person familiar with the investigation who was not authorized to publicly discuss the case and spoke on condition of anonymity.