If the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office moves forward with an indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump, it would set in motion a series of legal proceedings that could last well into the 2024 presidential campaign.
On Friday, NBC News reported that an indictment against Trump could come this week related to payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, when she was claiming she had an affair with Trump, something he has always denied. On Saturday Trump posted a call for action in two blazing all-caps posts on his Truth Social platform.
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK,” he wrote, adding, ”PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”.
If Trump is indicted, he could go to Manhattan Criminal Court to surrender himself, according to The New York Times.
After the charge, there would be fingerprinting and a mugshot. The Times reported felony defendants are usually in handcuffs, but that might not hold true for Trump.
He also might not be placed in a cell, for security reasons, the Times wrote.
After his court sessions, the Times predicted Trump would be freed on his recognizance.
On average, criminal cases in New York take more than a year to reach trial, Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former Manhattan chief assistant district attorney, said, according to Reuters.
“This is a huge development.” Final preparations being made to arrest Donald Trump next week. Trump will “be fingerprinted and processed like every other defendant”. The Secret Service will make the decision whether to handcuff the former president or not. (Video: Fox News) pic.twitter.com/u36MW0680U
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) March 17, 2023
That means Trump, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, could be on trial in the closing months of the 2024 presidential campaign,
"This is so unprecedented that it's hard for me to say," Agnifilo told Reuters. "I think it's tricky."
The core of the charge against Trump is an allegation that the payments to Daniels were on the books of the Trump Organization as legal services, which prosecutors are saying could be a falsification of business records, which is usually a misdemeanor.
Calling that a felony under state election law would give Trump grounds to appeal the politically explosive charge.
Trump could also fight the charge arguing that the five-year statute of limitations had expired, Reuters wrote.
"There's a whole host of possibilities,” David Shapiro, a former FBI agent and prosecutor and a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, told Reuters.
"This is a dream case for defense attorneys."
Trump’s prediction of a Tuesday arrest may not happen, according to Insider.
Citing sources it did not name, the site reported that the final witness to testify before a grand jury had been scheduled to testify Monday, but was no longer doing so, throwing any potential indictment timetable into doubt.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.