Monday, March 27, 2023

Trump expects ‘arrest’ on Tuesday in hush money case, calls for protest – Usky News

NEW YORK: Former US President Donald Trump said he expected to be “arrested” Tuesday for allegedly secretly paying a porn star in 2016 and urged his supporters to protest as prosecutors had indicated that the indictment was nearing.
If indicted, he would be the first former US president to be indicted on a felony charge, marking an explosive and unexpected development in the 2024 White House race as Trump seeks to regain the Republican nomination.
“The leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” the 76-year-old said on his Truth social platform on Saturday, adding, “Protest, take back our country!”
Not even a conviction in the hush money case will stop Trump from running, but an indictment could have huge consequences, galvanizing his critics but also electrifying his supporters.
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reacted with fury, accusing New York prosecutors of “political vendetta” against Trump. McCarthy vowed on Twitter to launch a congressional investigation into the matter.
But his Democratic predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, who was still speaker when Trump was impeached on January 6, 2021, for inciting riots at the US Capitol, said his announcement would “create unrest among his supporters.”
“He cannot hide from his violation of the law, his disrespect for our elections, and his incitement to violence,” Pelosi said.
The current investigation, led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, alleges $130,000 was paid before the 2016 election to prevent porn star Stormy Daniels from speaking publicly about an affair she says she had with Trump. Was together years ago.
Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and has insisted the investigation is “blatant and unconstitutional” election interference and that the process “is not a prosecution, it is harassment.”
His attorney told CNBC on Friday that he would surrender to face criminal charges if Trump is indicted.
– ‘Illegal leaks’ – In his Truth Social post written in capital letters, Trump referred to “illegal leaks from a corrupt and highly politicized Manhattan District Attorney’s Office” and said the investigation was “an old and thoroughly debunked (many people) (by another prosecutor!) story.”
He denounced his successor, President Joe Biden, as “crooked” and urged his followers to “oppose, oppose, oppose!!!”
Reports say officials are planning to increase security around the Manhattan Courthouse in the coming days.
Trump’s lawyer Susan Nechels indicated that her Saturday post was based on media reports, not any new actions taken by prosecutors.
“Because this is a political prosecution, the district attorney’s office engaged in the practice of leaking everything to the press instead of communicating with President Trump’s lawyers,” Nechels said in a statement to AFP.
A grand jury is a civilian panel that examines evidence presented by prosecutors to decide whether or not to charge.
The jury in New York on Monday heard testimony from Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who paid Daniels. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 on related federal charges. He confessed to his crime but said that he was following Trump’s order.
Daniels met with prosecutors on Wednesday and “agreed to make himself available as a witness, or for further questioning if necessary,” according to his attorney, Charles Brewster.
Trump has been invited to testify legal Experts say indictment is imminent.
Payments made to Daniels, if not properly accounted for, could lead to a misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records. The New York Times reports that if the false accounting was intended to cover up another crime, such as a campaign finance violation, it could be raised as a felony.
– 2024 Prospects – Trump is facing multiple criminal investigations at the state and federal level for possible wrongdoing that jeopardize his new term in the White House.
In Georgia, a prosecutor is probing efforts by Trump and his allies to reverse a 2020 election loss in the southern state. The grand jury in that case has recommended multiple indictments, it was revealed last month.
The former president is also the subject of a federal investigation into his handling of classified documents as well as his possible involvement in the January 6 riots.
Some observers believe an indictment bodes ill for Trump’s 2024 chances, while others say it could provide a major boost.
“The to arrest secures the nomination for Donald Trump,” tweeted Rick Wilson, a political strategist who left the Republican Party in protest of Trump. “The base will rally politically and possibly physically.”


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