NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump said in a social media post that he expects to be arrested Tuesday as a New York prosecutor is examining charges in a case looking into hush money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president.
Trump said in a post on his Truth Social network last Saturday that “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office indicate that “REPUBLIC LEADER AND FAR FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WILL BE ARRESTED TUESDAY NEXT WEEK.” Trump’s social media post came as he prepared to host the first official rally of his 2024 presidential campaign on Saturday, March 25 in Waco.
Messages left at the district attorney’s office on Saturday were not immediately returned. Trump’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump did not provide any details on social media about how he knew about the expected arrest. In his posts, he repeated his lies that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was stolen and urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” That language evoked the then-president’s message that preceded the riot at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
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 secret grand jury work in the case, including any potential vote on whether to indict the former president.
Trump’s post echoes one he made last summer when he broke the news on Truth Social that the FBI was searching his home as part of an investigation into possible mishandling of confidential documents.
Manhattan grand jury heard witnesses, including former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who say he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier .
Trump denies the meetings took place, says he did nothing wrong and called the investigation a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the 2024 Republican presidential campaign.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has apparently been examining whether any state laws were broken in relation to the payments or how Trump’s company compensated Cohen for his work to keep the women’s allegations quiet.
Daniels and at least two former Trump aides — former political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former spokeswoman Hope Hicks — are among the witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.
Cohen 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 payments were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the midst of his first presidential campaign. ___
Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard of Columbia, South Carolina contributed to this report.