Former US President Donald Trump on Saturday claimed that "he will be arrested on Tuesday" next week as part of a yearlong investigation into a hush-money scheme. He also asked his supporters to protest the move, reported CNN.
"THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!," he thundered in an all-caps message to his followers on Truth Social, his social media platform on Saturday (local time).
As per CNN, meetings have been going on throughout the week between the city, state and federal law enforcement agencies in New York City about how to prepare for a possible indictment of Trump in connection with a yearlong investigation into a hush-money scheme involving adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Any indictment of the former President, who is running for re-election in 2024, would mark a historic first and quickly change the political conversation around an already divisive figure. While Trump has an extensive history of civil litigation both before and after taking office, a criminal charge would represent a dramatic escalation of his legal woes as he works to recapture the White House.
Meanwhile, Trump did not specify what he has been told about an indictment and potential charges, however, his legal team has been anticipating that it will happen soon and has been preparing behind the scenes for the next steps, reported CNN.
The former president is expected to present himself in Manhattan following the formal charges and has expressed interest in making a speech after, though whether he ultimately does remains to be seen.
A campaign spokesperson said in a statement that there had been "no notification" given to Trump other than "illegal leaks" by prosecutors to news outlets.
Trump's call for protests evoked his rallying of his supporters in advance of January 6, 2021, when he used social media to invite crowds as Congress was preparing to certify the Electoral College count in favour of Joe Biden.
Trump urged his supporters to then march to Capitol Hill, where many stormed the building, forcing lawmakers to flee and temporarily suspending the proceedings.
Trump's claim that he will be arrested could be a way for him to scramble prosecutors' timeline, as there already were reports that law enforcement was preparing for such an event next week, reported CNN.
An indictment of Trump would be unprecedented in American history. Richard Nixon faced potential criminal charges related to the Watergate scandal after resigning in 1974, but he was pardoned by his successor, President Gerald Ford. (ANI)