Former U.S. President Donald Trump, who is running for that office again in 2024, expects to be arrested on Tuesday, March 21st. In a Saturday post on Truth Social, his own social media platform, he calls on protesters to take back “our nation.”
“Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney’s office … whose leader [DA Alvin Bragg, a Democrat] is funded by George Soros, indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven … the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” Trump wrote, without substantiating his claim.
The arrest, as predicted by Trump, is believed to revolve around the case surrounding porn star Stephanie Clifford, known by her stage name Stormy Daniels.
In 2018, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, had paid $130,000 (€120,000) to Clifford a few weeks before the 2016 election, which Trump ended up winning. The amount was reportedly paid to buy Clifford’s silence about an alleged affair she had had with Trump.
Since the revelation, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has been investigating the possible payoff. Trump has always denied the affair happened and called the investigation a witch hunt.
In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance violations, which included payments to Clifford and another woman. Trump, he then claimed, had asked him to make these.
Trump disputed knowing about the payment to Clifford. Later, he did however acknowledge having reimbursed Cohen for the payment, which he called a “simple private transaction.” The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan decided not to charge Trump with a crime.
According to Reuters, a spokesperson for Manhattan DA’s Alvin Bragg has thus far declined to comment on Trump’s latest post.
Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy deems the investigation to be politically motivated.
“Here we go again—an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” he wrote on Twitter.
Earlier this month, it appeared the case had reached its next phase when Trump was asked to testify before a grand jury. That jury would determine whether there is enough evidence to bring charges against the former POTUS. Trump however declined to do so, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
A potential indictment of Trump would mark the first recorded criminal case against a U.S. president, current or former.
According to a February Reuters/Ipsos poll, Trump leads his early rivals for his party’s nomination, having secured the support of 43% of Republicans compared with 31% for his nearest rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has yet to announce a run.