Former US President Donald Trump said he expects to be “arrested” on Tuesday over hush money allegedly paid to a porn star before the 2016 election, calling on his supporters to protest.
Citing a “leak” from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform on Saturday morning: “Leading Republican candidate & former President of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week. Protest, take our nation back!”
The investigation centres on $130,000 paid with party money weeks before the 2016 polls to stop Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, from going public about an affair she says she had with Trump years earlier.
Prosecutors are weighing whether to charge Trump in the case.
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 as he tries to secure the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels. In his post, written in capital letters, Trump referred to “illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney’s office.”
The former president’s calls for protests ahead of his anticipated indictment in New York have generated mostly muted reactions from supporters.
“We are monitoring comments on social media and the NYPD is doing their normal role of making sure that they are there’s no inappropriate actions in the city,” said New York Mayor Eric Adams.
The ambivalence raises questions about whether Trump still has the power to mobilise far-right supporters the way he did more than two years ago before the 6 January insurrection at the US Capitol.
Around the time the Manhattan courthouse complex opened Monday morning, a New York Police Department truck began dropping off dozens of portable metal barricades that could be used to block off streets or sidewalks.