What we know if Donald Trump will be indicted.

Former President Donald Trump predicted on Saturday morning that he would be arrested next Tuesday for his role in making an alleged $130,000 payment to a adult film actress in the latter days of the 2016 election to silence her about the complaints she had had an affair with him.

More:Donald Trump says he will be arrested Tuesday in Manhattan probe, calls for protest

A spokesperson said Trump had not received any specific notification that he would be charged.

Speculation about Trump’s potential legal troubles as a Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigation nears its conclusion has law enforcement and the political world on edge. If Trump’s claims turn out to be true, it would be the first time in US history that a former president has faced criminal charges, legal experts say.

Will he soon be arrested or indicted by a grand jury? Here’s what we know:

Here’s why Trump’s indictment could be imminent

Trump says he will run for president again if indicted in one of several ongoing investigations into his conduct. But in one of those investigations – in the New York silence case – there are new indications that criminal charges may be imminent, according to new information that emerged this week.

  • Trump himself predicted on his social media site Truth Social that he would be arrested on Tuesday as part of the investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and called on his supporters to protest ahead of a possible indictment by the grand jury hearing evidence in the case. .

More:Former Trump lawyer Cohen to testify before New York grand jury in investigation into porn star money

Trump has denied wrongdoing, and federal investigators ended their own probe into the payments in 2019.

Danielle Filson, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, declined to comment on Trump’s statement on Saturday. But there are other indications that an indictment may be imminent.

  • The cooperation of ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and fixer, spent two days last week testifying before the grand jury against his former boss. Cohen, who has already served prison time in connection with this case and others, reiterated his claims that Trump personally asked him to pay Daniels so it wouldn’t hurt his chances of defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

A source familiar with the investigation told USA TODAY that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team rely on a wealth of evidence to support Cohen’s testimony.

This includes volumes of emails, texts and other documents collected during search warrants of Cohen’s premises and electronic devices, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the investigation. in progress.

Silent money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels are at the heart of two of the lawsuits seeking tax and financial documents from President Trump's accounting firm.
  • The cooperation of porn actress Stormy Daniels

Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump in 2006, was also invited by prosecutors in Bragg’s office to meet with them, and did so via Zoom with her lawyer last Wednesday.

Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, has also agreed to be a witness in front of the grand jury – and at trial if Trump is ultimately charged with a crime related to the payments.

A second source familiar with the investigation said that at least seven DA prosecutors and investigators participated in discussions with Daniels and his attorney, and that she was prepared to share some form of corroborating documentation from the time period in question.

Daniels’ attorney, Clark Brewster, told USA TODAY he could not comment on what he and Daniels discussed with prosecutors. But he said it wasn’t the first time he’s been in touch with them about the case during his representation of Daniels, which began in 2019.

Brewster had no comment on whether Daniels actually testified before, or was asked to testify, before the Manhattan grand jury that would deliver an indictment in the case.

But Brewster said Daniels “would make a great witness”, citing his cooperation and testimony during the trial of his former lawyer Michael Avenatti.

  • Trump’s lawyer’s comments

Trump himself was asked to testify before the grand jury, which prosecutors say is a sure sign that the investigation is in its final stages and likely to produce an indictment. After that invitation was revealed, Trump’s own attorney in the case, Joe Tacopina, acknowledged the possibility of an impending indictment.

“You know, it’s getting more likely, I think now,” Tacopina told News Nation in an interview Tuesday night, adding, “But the one thing I still cling to is hope that justice shall prevail.”

Joe Tacopina poses for photographers in Venice, Italy, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. New York lawyer Joe Tacopina leads a group of investors who have bought fourth division soccer club Venice. Tacopina and fellow American investors John Goldman and John Tapinis announced on Friday the purchase of Venezia FC in the lagoon city. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)

Trump himself has in recent days admitted making the payment to stop Daniels from publicly disclosing an alleged affair with him just before the election. Previously, Trump had denied any complicity in a series of public statements.

“I did absolutely nothing wrong, I never had an affair with Stormy Daniels, and I wouldn’t have wanted to have an affair with Stormy Daniels,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social social media platform. “I relied on a lawyer to resolve this extortion of me.”

Some former prosecutors, including Glenn Kirschner and Paul Pelletier, told USA TODAY that such comments could potentially implicate Trump in the alleged criminal acts being investigated by the prosecutor’s office, including illegal campaign donations. .

Will Trump be handcuffed and arrested if charged?

Kirschner told USA TODAY on Saturday that authorities often negotiate the surrender of a high-profile defendant like Trump to avoid the spectacle of a “perp walk” in which the person is paraded to the media as they enter the courthouse or police station.

“There will be no reason to handcuff him and take him to police headquarters to be booked,” Kirschner said. “There will always be a photo ID, fingerprints and a lot of paperwork filled out as part of the booking process. So we’ll see a photo ID of a former president of the United States, but I don’t think that we’re going to see a suspect walking around.

Trump’s spokesperson told USA TODAY there has been “no notification” regarding the timing of any criminal charges. But the former president’s call to demonstrate worried the police involved in the preparation of such an event.

The call for protests, said an official familiar with the arrangements, could immediately require a larger security footprint in New York and more officers assigned to observe the movements of the former president.

Will Trump’s call for protests by his supporters lead to violence?

Kirschner said authorities should take Trump’s call for action seriously, saying it could potentially lead to the type of widespread rioting that occurred at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

“It’s a play straight out of Trump’s playbook,” Kirschner said. “We started with ‘Stand back, wait.’ We then moved on to ‘Come to DC on January 6, it’s going to be wild.’ Now we have ‘Come to Manhattan for my impeachment. Protest, take back our country.'”

But Kirschner said he doubts Trump’s efforts will have the same result this time.

“On January 6, people were aggrieved because they were told their vote had been stolen. So they took it personally. Here. I don’t think there’s that kind of self-motivation like there was on Jan. 6,” Kirschner said.

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Contributors: Ella Lee, David Jackson, Kevin Johnson

USA Today

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