By Luc Cohen and Karen Freifeld
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Donald Trump said he expects to be arrested Tuesday in a case brought by Manhattan Borough Attorneys and has urged his supporters to protest, according to a post on Truth Social from Saturday emerges.
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office declined to comment.
Trump said without providing evidence that “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan DA’s office indicated he would be arrested. He did not say how high the charges would be.
“Illegal leaks from a corrupt and highly political prosecutor’s office in Manhattan … indicate that without any crime being proven … the far and away leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States of America will be arrested Tuesday next week,” wrote Trump.
“Protest, take back our nation!” said Trump.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office began presenting evidence to a grand jury earlier this year examining a $130,000 payment made by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer, to porn star Stormy Daniels accomplished in the closing days of Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she had an affair with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair.
Trump served as Republican President from 2017 to 2021 and has announced that he will return to the White House in the 2024 US presidential election.
Earlier this month, Bragg’s office invited Trump to testify before the grand jury investigating the hush money payments, according to Trump’s attorney Susan Necheles. Legal experts said it was a sign an indictment was near.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal campaign finance violations, which included arranging payments to Daniels and another woman. He said Trump instructed him to make the payments. US Attorneys in Manhattan have not charged Trump with any crime.
According to his attorney Lanny Davis, Cohen testified before the grand jury on Monday and again on Wednesday. Grand jury proceedings are not public.
Daniels’ attorney said she spoke to prosecutors last week.
The investigation is one of several legal issues Trump faces as he seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency.
Trump also faces a state-level criminal investigation in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 findings in that state.
A special counsel appointed by US Attorney General Merrick Garland is currently investigating Trump’s handling of classified government documents after leaving office, as well as his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election he lost to President Joe Biden, a Democrat.
Bragg’s office won the Trump Organization’s conviction on tax fraud allegations last year. However, Bragg declined to charge Trump himself with financial crimes related to his business practices, prompting two prosecutors who had worked on the investigation to resign.
Leading his early rivals for his party’s nomination, Trump has 43% Republican support in a February poll by Reuters/Ipsos, compared to 31% for his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who backed his candidacy has not yet announced.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen and Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Gareth Jones, Frances Kerry and Daniel Wallis)
Source : uk.news.yahoo.com