Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that he will be arrested on Tuesday in the ongoing criminal investigation over his alleged payments to Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!,” Trump posted on his social media app at 7:26 a.m., encouraging his supporters to stand behind him and coming close to the language he used preceding the Jan. 6 riot.
There’s good reason to doubt Trump’s prediction. A spokesperson for the former president later dialed back his statement, saying there’s been no notification of an arrest from prosecutors. The New York Times reported that at least one more witness is expected to testify before the grand jury considering the charges in Manhattan. And sources told the paper that even if an indictment did come down Monday, logistics would likely delay an arrest beyond Tuesday.
One of Trump’s lawyers, Susan Necheles, said his remark was a reaction to media coverage. “Since this is a political prosecution, the District Attorney’s office has engaged in a practice of leaking everything to the press, rather than communication with President Trump’s attorneys as would be done in a normal case,” Necheles said in a statement to the Washington Post.
The Times reported Trump is “deeply anxious” about the possibility of an arrest:
When the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, was arrested in 2021, Mr. Trump watched in horror as television news showed Mr. Weisselberg flanked by officers in the courthouse, and the former president said he couldn’t believe what was happening.
That said, even if Trump’s post was rash, an arrest may not be far off. Preparations are reportedly underway in New York City if it were to happen. City, state, and federal law enforcement agencies have been meeting about the possibility, according to CNN. NBC News reported “preliminary security assessments” are in progress.
If the arrest happens, another Trump lawyer said he’d likely surrender. “There won’t be a standoff at Mar-a-Lago with Secret Service and the Manhattan DA’s office,” Joe Tacopina told the New York Daily News.
Observers believe Trump is likely to be charged in connection with an alleged $130,000 payment made by his former lawyer to Stormy Daniels to quiet her claims she had an affair with the former president. It’s only one of several potential Trump prosecutions in the works.