Former President Donald Trump called on his supporters Saturday afternoon to take action after he claimed earlier in the day that he will be arrested next week.
The remarks from Trump come after a report from NBC News said federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies were analyzing security assessments and making plans to prepare for the possibility that Trump could be indicted next week by a Manhattan grand jury in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment he allegedly made to porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“IT’S TIME!!!” Trump posted on social media. “WE ARE A NATION IN STEEP DECLINE, BEING LED INTO WORLD WAR III BY A CROOKED POLITICIAN WHO DOESN’T EVEN KNOW HE’S ALIVE, BUT WHO IS SURROUNDED BY EVIL & SINISTER PEOPLE WHO, BASED ON THEIR ACTIONS ON DEFUNDING THE POLICE, DESTROYING OUR MILITARY, OPEN BORDERS, NO VOTER I.D., INFLATION, RAISING TAXES, & MUCH MORE, CAN ONLY HATE OUR NOW FAILING USA.”
“WE JUST CAN’T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE. THEY’RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH,” he continued. “WE MUST SAVE AMERICA! PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!”
Trump’s statement in the afternoon comes after he wrote on social media earlier in the day: “ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE, WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME & WHOSE LEADER IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS, INDICATE THAT, WITH NO CRIME BEING ABLE TO BE PROVEN, & BASED ON AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”
The case involves an alleged payment that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen admits he made to Daniels during the presidential race to keep quiet about an alleged 2006 tryst between Trump and Daniels. Cohen pleaded guilty to related charges and served time in prison.
Although non-disclosure agreements are legal, the potential problem for Trump centers around how his company reimbursed Cohen. The payment was listed as a legal expense and the company cited a retainer agreement with Cohen. The retainer agreement did not exist and the reimbursement was not related to any legal services from Cohen, thus setting up a potential misdemeanor criminal charge of falsifying business records. The report said that Trump personally signed several of the checks to Cohen while he was serving as president.
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Prosecutors can elevate the misdemeanor to a felony if they can prove that Trump’s “‘intent to defraud’ included an intent to commit or conceal a second crime.”
Prosecutors argue that the second crime is that the alleged $130,000 hush payment was an improper donation to the Trump campaign because the money was used to stop a story for the purpose of benefiting his presidential campaign.