Donald Trump returns to Tulsa under pressure
- Former President Donald Trump will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday amid reports he could be charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as early as next week.
- The Tulsa County GOP encouraged its supporters to welcome Trump.
- Speculation has grown that Trump could be impeached for financial reimbursement to his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
Former President Donald Trump will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday amid reports he could be charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as early as next week.
Trump will visit the NCAA wrestling tournament at the Bank of Oklahoma (BOK) Center in Tulsa, according to the Tulsa County GOP, which has encouraged supporters to host Trump.
Speculation has grown that Trump could be indicted by New York prosecutors following the Manhattan DA’s investigation into a $130,000 refund to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for a payment he made to adult film actor Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Any potential indictments would likely focus on Trump’s company classifying the reimbursement to Cohen as legal fees. It is against New York State law for businesses to misclassify the nature of expenses and such misclassification may result in a misdemeanor charge.
This charge can be elevated to a felony if the inaccuracy occurred in order to cover up another crime. Cohen previously pleaded guilty to campaign finance charges after helping arrange payments to Daniels.
The Tulsa County Republican Party announced Trump’s visit to the city on Facebook on Friday, writing, “Take out your flags!! Put on your patriotic gear and let’s welcome Trump to Tulsa!!”
The message added that Trump would be at the BOK Center and said, “We are awaiting directions and venues to host him.”
In a statement on the visit, the Tulsa County GOP highlighted the 2024 presidential race, saying, “The presidential race starts here!! Let’s show him how ‘welcoming’ the city of Tulsa is.”
Trump held a campaign event at the BOK Center in June 2020 and encountered thousands of empty seats, according to reports at the time. Trump and then Vice President Mike Pence canceled an appearance at an outdoor overflow rally that was also sparsely attended.
It has been suggested that TikTok users and Korean pop music fans inflated expected attendance at the event by signing up for hundreds of thousands of tickets as a prank, but Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale , denied that this is the case.
Saturday’s event is not a Trump campaign rally, but the former president will participate in part of the 2023 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, which take place at the BOK Center from March 16-18.
Trump’s visit to Tulsa comes ahead of his first official campaign rally of 2024, which will be held in Waco, Texas on March 25. However, the former president could be charged before that date.
NBC New York reported Friday that local, state and federal law enforcement are preparing for the possibility of an indictment as soon as next week, citing five senior officials familiar with the matter.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and strongly criticized the investigation, while his attorney Joseph Tacopina said the former president would surrender to face charges if indicted by the grand jury in the case.
Newsweek contacted former President Trump’s office for comment via email.