Former President Donald Trump says his next trip to Manhattan will come with heavy baggage: criminal charges.
The Queens-born Trump, writing Saturday in his TruthSocial websiteannounced he will return Tuesday to face unspecified charges in the Manhattan district attorney’s long-running investigation into the 76-year-old former commander-in-chief.
“The leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States of America will be arrested Tuesday of next week,” Trump posted. “Protest, Take Back Our Nation!”
Trump’s words echoed his calls to action in January 2021 when his fiery speeches and tweets sparked riots at the US Capitol.
If Trump is right about Tuesday’s charges, his criminal case will be the first against a former president in US history.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to “confirm or comment” on any aspect of Trump’s post. The former president did not offer details about how he found out about the alleged plan to arrest him.
But Bragg was believed to be nearing an impeachment decision in his office’s long-running investigation into Trump, his business dealings and the infamous hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels and two former Trump aides, Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway, are among the witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks. The former president’s lawyer, Micheal Cohen, said he funneled $280,000 from Trump to Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal to ensure their silence in 2016.
In Saturday’s social media tirade, Trump said that Bragg is “funded by George Soros” and that the investigation was “based on an old fairy tale and totally discredited (by many other prosecutors!).”
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He also criticized Bragg’s handling of the state’s bail reform laws, alleging that his office “has allowed new records to be set in violent crimes.”
State court officials and the New York police were discussing on Friday the best way to handle Trump’s arrest if a grand jury brings charges against him.
The grand jury proceedings are confidential and it is not known whether the group assembled in January will vote to impeach Trump.
If Trump is charged, he must turn himself in to authorities in New York and appear in court to plead guilty. In theory, a judge could agree to conduct the hearing remotely, but virtually no criminal defendants are being prosecuted at the moment, according to Lucian Chalfen of the Office of Court Administration.
Trump plans to turn himself in if the Manhattan district attorney criminally charges him, his lawyer told the Daily News on Friday.
“There will not be a showdown at Mar-a-Lago with the Secret Service and the Manhattan district attorney’s office,” Joe Tacopina said.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.