Former president Donald Trump posted on his social media platform early Saturday morning that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday in New York City—and that he wants his followers to protest.
Trump has been under investigation in multiple jurisdictions around the country for years. But action seems near, as this week it was reported that a grand jury called by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg was close to handing down an indictment. Early Saturday morning, Trump took to Truth Social, the Twitter alternative he founded, with an all-caps screed that started with a section on his belief that America has become crime-ridden and impoverished, before dropping his claim that he would be arrested on Tuesday.
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK,” Trump wrote. “PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”
Bragg is investigating whether Trump made improper hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 election to try and cover up an alleged extra-marital affair the two had in the early 2000s. Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to making the payments, but the investigation into Trump’s role has dragged on. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels; his Saturday morning rant called it “AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE.”
It’s not clear why Trump thinks he will be arrested on Tuesday, or what he thinks that might look like. Trump needs to be indicted before he can be arrested, and for now, Bragg’s grand jury, which operates in secret, appears to still be working. While Cohen, who is likely to be the key witness for Bragg, testified on Friday, Daniels has yet to appear. White collar criminals are typically given the opportunity to turn themselves in, and any courthouse appearance by Trump would be a highly choreographed affair involving the Secret Service, worked out well in advance. It’s worth nothing that in his post on Truth Social, Trump credited the news of his arrest to “ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT ‘& HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE”—not communications to his attorneys.
Bragg’s office has been keeping Trump’s attorneys updated on the course of their investigation, and last week invited Trump himself to come speak to the grand jury investigating the payments—a move that is traditionally one of the last steps a prosecutor takes before asking the grand jury for an indictment. On Friday night, NBC News reported that local and federal law enforcement were taking steps to prepare for possible security threats if Trump were to be indicted next week.