Former U.S. President Donald Trump's YouTube account is seen on a mobile phone and laptop computer after being restored by Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc, as Google lifted a more than two-year suspension imposed on Trump after the deadly January 6, 2021 Capitol Hill riot, in Washington, U.S. March 17, 2023.
NEW YORK--Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as New York prosecutors consider charges over a hush money payment to a porn star, and called on his supporters to protest.
"Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney's office ... 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 on Truth Social.
A spokesman for Trump said the former president had not been notified of any arrest. Trump provided no evidence of leaks from the district attorney's office and did not discuss the possible charges in his post.
"Protest, take our nation back!" said Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, to try to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat.
The probe comes as Trump seeks the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024. No U.S. president - while in office or afterward - has faced criminal charges. Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.
A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office has been investigating a $130,000 hush payment Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen made to porn actor Stormy Daniels, declined to comment.
Sources have said Bragg's office has been presenting evidence to a grand jury about the payment, which came in the waning days of Trump's 2016 campaign in exchange for Daniels' silence about an affair she said she had with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair happened and called the investigation by Bragg, a Democrat, a witch hunt.
An additional witness is expected to appear before the grand jury on Monday, at the request of Trump's lawyers, a person familiar with the matter said on Saturday. Trump's statement that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday is based on news reports that Bragg's office is going to be meeting with law enforcement to prepare for a possible indictment, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, on Saturday decried the investigation. "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," McCarthy said on Twitter.
McCarthy's predecessor as speaker, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, who like McCarthy was present at the Capitol when hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the building, battling with police, denounced Trump's call. "The former president's announcement this morning is reckless: doing so to keep himself in the news and to foment unrest among his supporters," Pelosi said in a statement. "He cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence."
Trump's former vice president Mike Pence told ABC News Trump's possible indictment "just feels like a politically charged prosecution here." Asked about Trump's call for people to protest if he is indicted, Pence said he thinks protesters will understand "they need to do so peacefully and in a lawful manner."