Trump might become the first US president to be arrested in criminal charges
The United States is preparing for the possibility of a criminal indictment, or even a symbolic arrest, of former President Donald Trump, in the case of paying a sum of money in 2016 to a porn actress with whom he is believed to have had an affair, in what the billionaire described as a campaign of persecution, calling for demonstrations.
A year and a half before the presidential elections that will be held in 2024, Trump announced on Saturday through Truth Social platform that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday.
Citing leaks from the New York State Attorney’s Office, Trump expected to file criminal charges against him after a years-long Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation led by Attorney General Alvin Bragg.
And if he is arrested or even charged, it will set a precedent for a former president in the United States, because no American president has ever been charged, whether he was in office or left the White House.
The 45th US president, who was defeated by Joe Biden in November 2020 and who dreams of winning the presidency again in November 2024, called on his supporters to demonstrate.
The first peaceful gathering of his young supporters is scheduled for 8:00 pm (2200 GMT) in South Manhattan, New York.
In the face of fears of tensions or even violence in this city, whose voters support the majority of the Democratic Party – but where Trump has supporters that the state of readiness of the New York police is constant at all times and for all possibilities, noting that it’s In coordination with the Federal Police and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
The 76-year-old businessman, whose presence on the political scene has caused a major shift in the balance of power in the United States, once again attacked the office of Attorney General Alvin Bragg, calling it corrupt.
Bragg is an African-American, Democrat, and elected judge like all judges and prosecutors.
On Saturday, Susan Nickellis, the billionaire’s lawyer, denounced, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, political prosecutions.
The case of pornographic actress Stormy Daniels is legally complex.
A New York court is seeking to determine whether Trump is guilty of falsifying statements – a misdemeanor – or violating campaign finance laws – a criminal offense – by paying the woman, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 in weeks, and pre-election in November 2016.
Why to buy her silence about an affair they believed to have existed outside of marriage, according to the charges.
Donald Trump defended himself again Monday, writing in large letters on the Truth Social platform, there is no crime.
The investigation accelerated last week.
Michael Cohn, Trump’s former attorney who paid off the sum in 2016 and turned enemy since then, and the porn actress, both testified before a grand jury, a citizens’ panel with sweeping investigative powers responsible for certifying the indictment.
Also, Donald Trump was invited to speak before this jury, according to the American press.
One of his lawyers said that he would voluntarily respond to a summons from the New York judiciary.
“Prosecutors almost never call the object of an investigation to testify before a grand jury unless they intend to indict him,” law professor and former public prosecutor Bennett Gershman told AFP.
According to his colleague Renato Mariotti, even if the billionaire were indicted, it’s possible that Donald Trump, who lives in Palm Beach, Florida, would voluntarily go to court in Manhattan.
He will be momentarily stopped, photographed, fingerprinted, and possibly handcuffed for a few minutes.
However, Robert McDonald, a professor of criminal law and a former employee of the Secret Service, the agency that protects American personalities, said that in order to avoid noise, the real estate mogul may not come to court in Manhattan through the front door, to avoid cameras and for security reasons.
The main fear of the authorities remains represented in repeating the chaos of the attack on the Capitol building in Washington on January 6, 2021, when Donald Trump called on his supporters to protest the results of the 2020 elections, in which he was defeated by Joe Biden.
This comes as media reported that six members of the far-right group Oath Keepers were convicted Monday of various charges related to the attack on the Capitol.
On Sunday, a number of Republican figures defended Trump, especially his former vice president, Mike Pence, who had severed his relationship with him since 2021, and who could face him as a candidate in the Republican primaries.