In the coming days, former President Trump could face charges in what will be a seismic event that will shake the entire political world.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has signaled he is willing to file charges against Trump over the silence fee to cover up the alleged connection during the 2016 election.
Trump, who revealed over the weekend that he expects to be arrested this week, launched a series of attacks on Bragg and called on supporters to protest.
Here’s what to look for before a possible charge
How charges are announced
A grand jury may decide this week and as early as Wednesday whether to indict the former president on charges related to the silence payment to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
What happens next will be watched closely, but the details are unclear.
If Trump is indicted, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will likely work with Trump’s team to arrange his surrender in New York. Trump lives in Florida and his lawyer said he would not refuse to turn himself in.
Trump will have to face trial in New York, but is unlikely to be held in Manhattan while a court case against him is being played out, allowing him to continue his campaign as a 2024 presidential candidate.
What is Trump doing
Trump has sought to use the looming allegations against him for political purposes, even predicting that his own arrest will occur on Tuesday despite no insider information or evidence to support his claim.
The former president is likely to use the indictment to convey his message to his supporters that he is the target of a politically motivated justice system that needs to be torn down and rebuilt.
The Trump campaign has already sent numerous fundraising messages to his supporters who have seized on reports of Trump’s imminent arrest, and it is expected to do the same if the indictment is dropped.
And Trump himself turned his Truth Social feed into a platform for aggressive attacks on Bragg, humiliating the 49-year-old district attorney as “a racist, [George] Soros supported” the prosecutor, who is manipulated by democratic leaders.
With Trump unlikely to be detained in Manhattan after the charges are laid, he is expected to continue his schedule as a 2024 presidential candidate starting Saturday with a rally in Waco, Texas, where his displeasure will be on full display in front of the crowd. ardent supporters.
What will the protests look like?
New York City officials were alerted to the possibility of protests by setting up metal barricades outside the Manhattan courthouse in anticipation of a backlash against Trump’s arrest.
Republicans tend to call for any protests to remain peaceful, and chatter among Trump supporters so far does not indicate any organized efforts to stage mass demonstrations.
But the rhetoric coming from Trump and his team has alerted many to the prospect of violence, especially two years after a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.
Trump himself urged supporters to “protest, take back our nation!” in the same Truth Social post where he predicted his own arrest would happen on Tuesday.
In a separate post, Trump lamented what he called the country’s decline, writing: “They are killing our nation while we sit and watch. We must save America! Protest, Protest, Protest!!!”
Trump’s attorney, Joe Takopina, warned that if the former president was indicted, it would be “all out war,” while Senator Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) suggested that Trump’s indictment would “blow up our country.”
The House of the Republican Party goes on the attack
In particular, Republicans in the House of Representatives have signaled that they will rally around Trump and speak out on his behalf.
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) moved to expose the looming allegations as politically motivated and threatened to cut federal funding to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Three House GOP committee chairs demanded evidence from Bragg, writing to the district attorney that the decision to indict Trump would “undermine the credibility of impartial justice and permanently interfere with the 2024 presidential election.”
This strategy is reminiscent of previous impeachment trials for a former president, when House Republicans such as Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.), Jim Jordan (R.-Ohio) and former Trump administration chief Mark Meadows (RN.C.) were among his most outspoken defenders.
Bragg’s office said in an internal memorandum on Monday that it would not be intimidated by the rhetoric from Trump and the Republicans.
How will this shake up the 2024 race?
Despite many investigations hanging over him, Trump remains the leader in the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential race.
The former president has a fierce supporter base that gives him a solid foothold in any primary race, and some of that support will only be re-enforced through what some see as politically motivated persecution.
However, the indictment could hurt Trump’s long-term prospects.
Democrats concerned about Trump’s protest calls over possible indictment Bipartisan lawmakers are introducing a bill that would ban members from owning and trading stocks.
Other contenders, such as former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, have repeatedly argued that the Republican Party has a better choice than Trump, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (right) noted on Monday that he never had to pay money for silence to cover up an affair.
One strategist who worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign acknowledged that the former president is still a force in the Republican Party, but said at some point the baggage will become too much for voters to overlook.
“The indictment is not that the Democrats are after him in the Oval Office,” the strategist said. “It’s his own creation.
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