Donald Trump, a former president of the United States, called on his fans to demonstrate on Saturday and said he anticipates being jailed on Tuesday as New York prosecutors evaluate charges related to a hush money payment to a porn star.
Once the former president stated that he anticipated being arrested next week, prominent Republicans, including some of Donald Trump’s possible opponents for the party’s candidature for president in 2024, came to his defence.
There has been no official confirmation of the probability that charges would be filed, despite Trump’s announcement on Saturday that he will be detained on Tuesday in connection with hush money payments to the adult film star named Stormy Daniels.
Former vice president Mike Pence, who is widely anticipated to start a candidature for the GOP nomination in the coming weeks, said that the thought of indicting a former president of the United States was very unsettling to him, as it was to tens of millions of People.
The response highlights the political difficulties faced by potential rivals who are keen to persuade people that it is time to forget about the former president but who must deal with the fact that he continues to be the most well-liked member of the party.
As the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago club as part of an inquiry into his handling of secret materials, Trump received a similar level of support the previous summer. Also, the search was a fundraising success.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was one of many who spoke out in support of Trump on Saturday. McCarthy claimed that any indictment would be an appalling misuse of power by a radical DA [district attorney] who lets dangerous murderers go while he chases political revenge against Trump.
McCarthy announced that he would order the relevant Republican-led House committees to immediately examine if government money was being used to rig elections or otherwise undermine our democracy. McCarthy has not backed Trump’s bid for the White House, but Trump assisted McCarthy in winning the speakership during a divisive race that took many vote rounds.
Although there hasn’t been a public announcement of a timeline or an indictment, law enforcement authorities in New York have been preparing security measures in case Trump is prosecuted.
Later on Saturday, a spokesman and an attorney for Trump claimed that his tweet was based on media accounts rather than on any real information from or correspondence with prosecutors. Illegal leaks from a corrupt and very politicised Manhattan district attorney’s office, according to Trump’s post.
Trump urged his followers to “PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!” in his message.
The tweet brought to mind the statement made by the president at the time that was sent before the radical supporters’ uprising at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, which eventually failed to prevent the declaration of Joe Biden’s win.
Trump has stated that, even if charged, he would still run for president.
Requests for comment were not immediately answered by representatives for Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida and another possible contender who is seen to be Trump’s strongest challenger. When running for office in South Carolina, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, another announced contender, avoided mentioning the inquiry.
In January, it was revealed that Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg had taken the unexpected step of convening a grand jury to hear testimony in the Daniels case, which had previously lost its lustre.
Trump’s then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, made the payment and set up another repayment to a different lady in 2016, during the election that Trump went on to win. Cohen claims that Trump gave the order to pay the money.
Federal prosecutors accused Cohen of campaign finance crimes in 2018 for payments to Daniels and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, on the grounds that they amounted to illegal gifts to Trump’s campaign.
Any allegations in this case would most likely centre on campaign finance violations and state offences involving fabricating business documents, which are generally misdemeanours but can become felonies if they are connected to a cover-up or other criminal activity.
Kevin O’Brien, a former federal prosecutor who now works as a partner at Ford O’Brien in New York and specialises in white-collar criminal defence, explained to the Guardian that in order to obtain a felony conviction, prosecutors would have to show that Trump had “intent to defraud” when his company “falsely accounted” for the payments to Daniels as legal expenses. They would also have to show that the payments amounted to illegal contributions to Trump’s 2016
Trump calls the inquiry a “witch-hunt” and asserts that he would benefit from being indicted if he were to run for president in 2024.