Donald Trump has posted a provocative call for Americans to ‘protest, protest, protest’ as he raged online about the possibility he faces imminent arrest by prosecutors in New York.
The former president risked stirring unrest with a post to his TruthSocial platform that said ‘it’s time’ and called on his supporters to stage demonstrations and ‘save America’.
The post, written entirely in capital letters, was made hours after Trump said he’d be arrested on Tuesday over claims he broke the law by paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair.
Trump wrote: ‘IT’S TIME!!! 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. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA!PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!’
The post echoed similar calls to protest his election loss in the hours and days prior to the Capitol riots on January 6 2021.
Trump called on Americans to protest in an angry post to TruthSocial, his social media platform
The post, written entirely in capital letters, was made hours after Trump said he’d be arrested on Tuesday
Trump denies he had a sexual relationship with Daniels (pictured with Trump) and his lawyer has called the $130,000 she was paid to keep quiet a ‘nuisance payment’ that wealthy or famous people sometimes pay to make a distracting situation disappear
Trump’s claim he’ll be arrested soon comes more than six years after his lawyers paid Daniels a total of $130,000 during the 2016 election campaign to keep quiet about an alleged affair
Trump said the Manhattan DA’s office will arrest him within days and branded the probe ‘corrupt and highly political’, calling the alleged hush money payment an ‘old and fully debunked fairy-tale.’
The call to protest is likely to draw fierce criticism following Trump’s statements in the days leading to the deadly riots at the Capitol.
On the morning of January 6, he gave a rousing speech to supporters in Washington and said: ‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’
He concluded the speech: ‘We fight. We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.’
The protests over the election result later turned violent as thousands of people descended on the Capitol. Large sections of the group broke into the building and hundreds were later charged over the rioting.
A former federal prosecutor even warned on Saturday that Trump’s social media post sharing details of his expected arrest could see him denied bail if he is arrested.
Glenn Kirschner, an MSNBC legal analyst, has compared the all-caps rant to his posts leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021 – and said it could affect the terms of his release.
Referring to the initial post that claimed Trump’s arrest was imminent, Kirschner said: ‘I would slap a government exhibits sticker on this post and I would introduce it as his criminal trial.
‘He has now just given the judge that will preside over his arraignment hearing food for thought about what kind of conditions should be set for the release of this dangerous man pending trial.’
If Trump’s claims about an imminent arrest are true, it would make him the first former president ever to face criminal charges. His post came hours after it was claimed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was planning on indicting Trump next week.
Elon Musk, the world’s richest man, responded to the development on Saturday by stating that if he’s charged, Trump would ‘be re-elected in a landslide victory’ in the 2024 presidential election. And legal experts say Trump could still be elected president even if he’s charged or convicted.
The post echoes Trump’s calls to protest on January 6 2021, before a large group of his supporters stormed the Capitol
Riot police push back a crowd of supporters of US President Donald Trump after they stormed the Capitol building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC
Before his call for protests, Trump branded the case against him ‘corrupt and highly political’, calling the alleged hush money payment an ‘old and fully debunked fairy-tale
A spokesman for Trump said that he is ‘rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system’.
Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House, said: ‘Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump.
‘I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.’
Last week the former president and 2024 hopeful was invited to testify before a Manhattan grand jury, with his long-time fixer and former lawyer Michael Cohen testifying on Monday.
Cohen served jail time after pleading guilty in two criminal cases, one of which included using campaign finances in relation to Daniels and another woman who allegedly had an affair with Trump.
He said he had been acting at his command and that the payoffs were supposed to keep the affair stories out of public knowledge before the 2016 election. Trump has admitted reimbursing Cohen
Daniels met with prosecutors on Wednesday to answer further questions in the case and her lawyer, Clark Brewster, said she would also make herself available as a witness in future, if required.