Former US President Donald Trump said Saturday he expects to be arrested on March 21 in connection with the yearslong investigation into a hush money scheme involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels and called on his supporters to protest any such move.
In a social media post, Trump, referring to himself, said the “leading Republican candidate and former president of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week” — though he did not say why he expects to be arrested. His team said after Trump’s post that it had not received any notifications from prosecutors.
According to CNN report, meetings have been going on throughout the week among city, state and federal law enforcement agencies in New York City about security preparations for a possible indictment of Trump.
In an echo of Trump’s appeals to supporters in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, he called Saturday for action, writing: “Protest, take our nation back.”
The former president has been agitating for his team to get his base riled up and believes that an indictment would help him politically, multiple people briefed on the matter told CNN.
Any indictment of the former president, who is running for reelection in 2024, would mark a historic first and quickly change the political conversation around an already divisive figure. While Trump has an extensive history of civil litigation both before and after taking office, a criminal charge would represent a dramatic escalation of his legal woes as he works to recapture the White House.
Another witness is expected to testify Monday before the grand jury investigating the hush money payments, according to a source familiar with the investigation. It is not clear whether this would be the final witness before it votes on a possible indictment.
Trump’s legal team has been anticipating that an indictment will happen soon and has been preparing behind the scenes for the next steps.
A spokesperson for Trump said Saturday that the former president has not received a notification from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office regarding any potential indictment, but was “rightfully highlighting his innocence” in his post.
Previewing a potential line of defense from Republicans on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, tweeted Saturday that any potential indictment of the former president would represent “an outrageous abuse of power” from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Mike Pence, who served as vice president under Trump, echoed McCarthy’s message on Saturday. “Well, like many Americans, I’m just — I’m taken aback,” Pence told Breitbart News in a radio interview. The former vice president claimed the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation “reeks” of “political prosecution.”
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on Saturday.