"No Notification": Trump Team Walks Back Indictment Prediction, Promotes 'Reelection' Rally Instead
Update (1315ET): The Washington Post reports that Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said Saturday morning there had been no “notification” of an indictment and said Trump’s supporters should attend a rally he is holding next week in Texas for his 2024 reelection.
Susan Necheles, a lawyer for Trump, said his remark about the timing of his arrest was gleaned from media reports on Friday about local and federal law enforcement players expecting to convene early next week to discuss security and logistics related to Trump’s expected indictment.
“Since this is a political prosecution, the District Attorney’s office has engaged in a practice of leaking everything to the press, rather than communication with President Trump’s attorneys as would be done in a normal case,” Necheles said in a statement.
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As the banking crisis and the Hunter Biden laptop scandal continues to unfold, the potential indictment of former President Trump on felony falsification charges could be the only headline that really matters next week.
Fox News anchor John Roberts informed viewers on Friday afternoon that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has requested a "meeting with law enforcement ahead of a potential Trump indictment." He said, "to discuss logistics for some time next week, which would mean that they are anticipating an indictment next week."
"Same sources familiar with the planning said they will go over security preparations in and around the courthouse in lower Manhattan. Secret Service will take the lead in what they will allow or will not allow, the source cautioned, mentioning, for instance, that the decision to handcuff the president, the former president, or not, they will set the tone and will escort him into the courtroom," Roberts continued.
“We are learning that the Manhattan DA office has asked for a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a potential Trump indictment. The meeting is to discuss logistics for some time next week which would mean they are anticipating an indictment next week” pic.twitter.com/IkbM46Naoe— Acyn (@Acyn) March 17, 2023
Trump's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, told AP News that if the former president is indicted, "we will follow the normal procedures."
If Trump is charged with felony falsification of business records, he would be forced to surrender to New York authorities and make an appearance in a Manhattan courthouse. The former president allegedly coordinated a transfer of $130,000 to pornstar Stormy Daniels through former attorney Michael Cohen.
"The payments were made to a lawyer, not to Stormy Daniels. The payments were made to Donald Trump's lawyer, which would be considered legal fees," the lawyer told MSNBC earlier this week, adding that Cohen "was his lawyer at the time and advised him that this was the proper way to do this to protect himself and his family from embarrassment. It's as simple as that. That is not a crime."
According to New York Daily News, the Manhattan District Attorney's office held meetings with several law enforcement agencies to discuss security concerns ahead of a possible indictment.
And if Trump is charged next week, he might as well kick off his presidential campaign -- would be a hell of a way to start.
If this happens, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
Hard to imagine a prosecutor engaging in more egregious election interference than indicting a presidential candidate (and former president) on a charge so vague and petty, no reasonable person would think it’s a crime *of any kind*— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) March 18, 2023
It is possible that a PR campaign is underway to divert the attention of the American public from banking failures and the Biden family.
Trump will most likely be in the spotlight next week. On Saturday morning, he wrote this on Truth Social:
What exactly is Trump suggesting his followers do? Those last few words seem to play right into Democrats' narratives.
... and forget about those regional banks and Hunter Biden headlines next week. It might be all about Trump.
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Here's more on next week via submission by 'BlueApples,'
Apparently, arrest warrants for populist politicians are en vogue right now. On the same day that the International Criminal Court ("ICC") announced the issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, reports out of New York suggest the same fate is forthcoming for former president Donald J. Trump. Local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies met with security agencies concerning the logistical preparations necessary to handle Trump's arrest. That preparation is in anticipation of an indictment against Trump from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for felony charges of falsification of business records, according to NBC News.
The crux of the charges stems back to Trump's handling of the Stormy Daniels saga that enveloped his 2016 presidential campaign. According to Trump's attorney, Joe Tacopina, the former president is not guilty of the presumably impending charges. In Trump's defense, Tacopina shifted the blame to Michael Cohen hose cooperation with the Manhattan District Attorney's office has accelerated its action against Trump. Under Cohen's directive, Trump authorized a payment to Daniel's that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office contends was falsely categorized as a legal fee when Trump reimbursed Cohen for it. The potential charges coming from the Manhattan district attorney's office are a near carbon copy of the federal charge Cohen pleaded guilty to in 2018 concerning the $130,000 payment Trump made to Daniels in the 11th hour of his 2016 campaign.
According to Cohen, the directive to issue the payment came directly from Trump. Cohen categorized the order from Trump for the purpose of influencing the 2016 Presidential Election. Cohen contended that the payments to Daniels were made by him directly and that Trump reimbursed him for the $130,000, a transaction that was itemized as a legal fee by Trump's company. Cohen testified to a grand jury for a second time preceding the emergence of reports about a potential indictment of Trump. President Trump declined to appear before the same grand jury Cohen testified to earlier this week following an invitation from the District Attorney's Office.
Despite not testifying before the grand jury, Tacopina has addressed the probe behind the looming charges against Trump. "We are not convinced they will bring a case, but if so we will deal with it," Tacopina said in the wake of the Manhattan District Attorney's office extending an invitation to Trump to testify before the grand jury. Trump himself categorized the probe as a "Scam, Injustice, Mockery, and Complete and Total Weaponization of Law Enforcement in order to affect a Presidential Election!" in a post made on his social media platform Truth Social. Cohen's appearance before the same grand jury came following over 20 meetings with prosecutors.
Potential charges from Manhattan's District Attorney would come at a time where Trump is already under the scrutiny of Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith. The Special Counsel's probe into Trump envelopes the former president's role in the events of January 6th, 2021 as well as his handling of the classified documents at the core of the FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago.
Like that FBI raid, Trump is sure to capitalize on any charges coming out of Manhattan to fortify the narrative of his 2024 presidential campaign. Like in 2016, Trump has repeatedly framed himself as an anti-establishment candidate despite any record substantiating that claim accrued during his time in office. The FBI raid of Mar-a-lago, coupled with charges that he may be indicted on next week, will surely be categorized as evidence of a political witch hunt against him, just as he has described the Russiagate narrative that emerged following his initial election in 2016.
As reports suggest, the gravity of that continued persecution of Trump is not lost upon the NYPD, New York State Court Officers, the U.S. Secret Service, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. The law enforcement and security consortium all met to discuss how booking Trump under any charges would be handled. However, sources reporting these deliberations have indicated that the meeting has yet to take place but that the Secret Service would have over-arching authority on the handling of any indictment.
If the Manhattan District Attorney's Office does indeed move forward, it will mark the second high-profile case it has engaged in against Trump. In December 2022, the Trump Organization was convicted on charges of tax fraud and falsifying business records. Though Trump himself was not a defendant in that case, former CFO Allen Weisselberg eventually plead guilty to 15 felony charges.
Trump's attorney Joseph Tacopina breathed life into the reality of similar felony charges against the former president by conveying that his client would follow normal booking procedures if he was indicted, according to CNBC. While falsification of business records can be charged as a misdemeanor in New York State, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has elected to modify the charges as a felony. The same federal officials who charged Cohen decided against pursuing similar charges against Trump.
Despite any charges against being exalted as an immense victory against Trump by his opposition, any indictment doesn't appear to dissuade him from his 2024 campaign. In discussing potential federal charges regarding his possession of classified documents, Trump assured his supporters that his commitment to running for election would remain unfettered. Trump told James Rosen of Newsmax that he would run for president regardless of any charges levied against him.
BREAKING: @realDonaldTrump told me @CPAC just now that he will stay in the race for the @WhiteHouse even if he is indicted in one or more of the pending criminal investigations into his activities. Watch @NEWSMAX to see the video.— James Rosen (@JamesRosenTV) March 4, 2023
Trump's incorrigible defiance in the face of looming charges against him serves as the pathological pillar of his 2024 campaign, assured to revitalize the devout allegiance to him that may have been fractured by the emergence of the likes of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a competitor for the Republican Party's nomination in the next presidential election. Knowing the poignancy of how an indictment could reaffirm the belief that Trump is the victim of a continued political witch hunt, the decision by Bragg may eventually become an example of cutting one's nose off to spite its face. Even if a conviction or guilty plea were to come from any felony charges, that may prove to be little more than a Pyrrhic victory for Trump's opposition as it may stoke the same support that led to his election in 2016. In the end, that hubris could lead to the establishment's demise once again as the Democratic Party struggles to put forward a worthy opponent for 2024.