Trump claims he’ll be arrested on Tuesday, urges protests to ‘take our nation back’

Ex-president cites ‘leak’ from Manhattan DA’s office over probe into alleged hush money paid to women; plea to supporters reminiscent of language before storming of US Capitol

Former US President Donald Trump raises his fist as he arrives on stage to speak about education policy at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa on March 13, 2023. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP)
Former US President Donald Trump raises his fist as he arrives on stage to speak about education policy at the Adler Theatre in Davenport, Iowa on March 13, 2023. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP)

NEW YORK  — Donald Trump said in a social media post that he expects to be arrested Tuesday as a New York prosecutor is eyeing charges in a case examining hush money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president.

Trump said in a post on his Truth Social network early Saturday 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.”

Messages left Saturday with the district attorney’s office were not immediately returned.

Representatives for Trump did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

In his postings, he repeated his lies that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Democrat US President Joe Biden was stolen and he urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”

That language evoked the message from the then-president that preceded the deadly riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Insurrectionists loyal to then-US president Donald Trump try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington, January 6, 2021. (Julio Cortez/AP)

If the Manhattan district attorney were to indict Trump, the 76-year-old would become the first former president to be charged with a crime.

Trump’s lawyer told CNBC on Friday evening that his client would surrender to face criminal charges if he was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury.

Law enforcement officials in New York have been making security preparations for the possibility that Trump could be indicted.

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 posting echoes one made last summer when he broke the news on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his home as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents.

The grand jury in Manhattan has been hearing from witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.

Michael Cohen arrives at the district attorney’s office to testify before a grand jury in New York, Monday, March 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

Trump denies the encounters occurred, says he did nothing wrong, and has cast the investigation as a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has apparently 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.

Daniels and at least two former Trump aides — onetime political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokesperson Hope Hicks — are among witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.

Cohen has said that at Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payouts were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the thick of his first presidential campaign.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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