Washington (CNN) Former President Donald Trump said Saturday he expects to be arrested in connection with the investigation by the Manhattan district attorney next week and called for protests as New York law enforcement prepares for a possible indictment.
In a social media post, Trump, referring to himself, said “the leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States will be arrested on Tuesday of next week.”
“Protest, take back our nation,” he wrote.
CNN’s John Miller reported that meetings were held throughout the week between city, state and federal law enforcement agencies in New York on how to prepare for a possible indictment of Trump in connection with a years-long investigation into a money laundering scheme. featuring adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Any indictment against the former president, who is running for re-election in 2024, would mark a historic event and quickly change the political conversation around an already divisive figure. Although Trump has an extensive history of civil cases both before and after taking office, a criminal charge would represent a dramatic escalation of his legal woes as he works to reclaim the White House.
Although Trump did not elaborate on why he expected to be indicted, his legal team expected it to happen soon and was preparing behind the scenes for next steps. The former president is expected to appear in Manhattan following the formal charges and has expressed interest in giving a speech afterward, but whether he ultimately does remains to be seen
A Trump spokesman said Saturday that the former president had not received notice from the Manhattan district attorney’s office about a potential indictment, but “rightfully maintains his innocence” in his post.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment Saturday.
Trump complained privately that he thought he would be indicted only because he thought Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg “hated him,” according to a source familiar with what Trump said.
His call for protest in response to a potential arrest reflected his final days in office, when he repeatedly called on supporters to reject the results of the 2020 presidential election, culminating in the deadly January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
Some of Trump’s advisers had privately urged him not to call for protests, concerned about the optics of a mass protest on the streets of Manhattan that got out of hand or resembled the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol.
The discussions were about how to navigate a potential criminal indictment by a New York County grand jury and the choreography surrounding the possibility of an unprecedented arrest of a former president of the United States. The New York Police Department did not immediately respond to CNN’s inquiry after Trump’s posts on Saturday.
Trump’s Secret Service detail would deliver him to the Manhattan district attorney’s office for fingerprinting and then take photos at the offices of the district attorney’s detective squad. As is common in cases where the accused is allowed to voluntarily surrender, after processing the arrest, the former president will appear directly before a judge, where he will likely be released on bond.
Law enforcement officials familiar with the discussions said several concerns were discussed in the planning process, including courthouse security and the potential for demonstrations or rallies outside the courthouse by Trump supporters or counterdemonstrations by anti-Trump protesters, with the risk of the two groups collide.
This is a current story and will be updated.
CNN’s Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.