Donald Trump claimed on Saturday that his arrest was imminent and issued an extraordinary call for his supporters to protest as a New York grand jury investigates hush money payments to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president.Despite no evidence that Manhattan prosecutors have given any official notice to him or his lawyers, Trump declared in a post on his social media platform that he expected to be taken into custody on Tuesday.
The message seemed designed to preempt a formal announcement from prosecutors and to galvanize outrage from his base of supporters in advance of widely anticipated charges.
Within hours, he sent a fundraising email to supporters while influential Republicans in Congress issued statements in his defense.In its direct encouragement of protest, and his capital letter demand to "TAKE OUR NATION BACK!" the post evoked in foreboding ways the rhetoric he used shortly before the insurrection at the U.S.
Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. After hearing from the then-president at a Washington rally that morning, his supporters marched to the Capitol and tried to stop the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden's White House victory, breaking through doors and windows of the building and leaving officers beaten and bloodied.District Attorney Alvin Bragg is thought to be eyeing charges in the hush money investigation, and recently offered Trump a chance to testify before the grand jury.