Police barriers in front of Trump Tower and the Manhattan Courthouse; more law enforcement and journalists than pro-Trump protesters: New York awaits the possible historic criminal indictment of the former president of the United States.
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• Read also: Will Donald Trump be arrested and charged in New York?
• Read also: We summarize the Trump and Stormy Daniels affair
In a latest statement from Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign team on Tuesday, a photo shows two New York Police (NYPD) handlers quietly unloading a metal barrier from a truck.
With a message meant to dramatize and solemnize the moment: “Barricades are being set up around Manhattan Criminal Court, as our nation awaits an announcement on whether President Donald J. Trump will be CHARGED despite ‘he has not committed ANY OFFENSE’.
The 45th President of the United States (2017-2021) gives an appointment to his voters “on November 5, 2024 when we, the people, return to the White House and make America great again”.
In the meantime, he must answer in court for a case of payment of 130,000 dollars, just before his presidential victory in November 2016, to the actress of pornographic films Stormy Daniels with whom he would have had an affair.
Outside the offices of New York State Attorney for the District of Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, dozens of reporters speculate on when the magistrate and a grand jury — a citizens’ panel with broad investigative powers and tasked with to confirm an indictment — will determine whether or not an indictment is justified.
Wednesday or next week?
Trump hit hard on Saturday by saying on his Truth Social network that he would be formally and symbolically charged and “arrested” on Tuesday.
Several media are now referring to a press release from the prosecutor, Wednesday, announcing the indictment and, only next week, the appearance of Donald Trump in court to notify him of the charges and symbolically place him under arrest for a few minutes.
For an American president, whether in office or having left the White House, this would be unprecedented.
Donald Trump would then be photographed, his fingerprints taken and he could even be briefly handcuffed, according to American criminal procedure.
However, the New York judicial authorities want to avoid such a spectacle and the media and political mess that would follow.
The billionaire denounced a “witch hunt” led by the Democrats, but his calls to “protest” failed.
Only about 40 supporters gathered outside his Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Tuesday, and a few dozen more in the cold New York on Monday outside the courthouse and the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue.
However, for fear of clashes in a city with a violent history, an NYPD spokesperson warned in an email that “the presence of uniformed police officers will increase in the five boroughs of the megacity”, even if it there is “currently no credible threat in New York.”
In the absence of anger in the street, the Trumpists beat the recall on social networks.
In an attempt to block the legal challenge to their hero, the group “The Donald” on the Reddit platform wants to trigger a “national strike” or even a “civil war 2.0”.
The case of pornographic actress Stormy Daniels is legally complex.
New York justice is seeking to determine whether Trump is guilty of misrepresentation, an offense, or breach of campaign finance laws, a criminal offense, by having paid $ 130,000 to this woman, whose real name Stephanie Clifford, just before the 2016 presidential election, which the Republican had won.
What purpose? For her to conceal a supposed extramarital relationship ten years earlier, according to the prosecution.
Repeat from January 6, 2021
The investigation, which has lasted for years, accelerated last week.
Michael Cohen, a former attorney and now Trump nemesis who paid off Stormy Daniels in 2016, testified before the grand jury. The actress has also cooperated with prosecutors and this same panel.
Donald Trump had also been invited to speak before this grand jury, according to the press, and one of his lawyers had assured that he would “surrender” willingly to a court summons.
The main fear of the authorities is a repeat of the violence of the assault on the Capitol in Washington on January 6, 2021, when Donald Trump, defeated at the polls in November 2020, called on his supporters to challenge the results.
He still claims, baselessly, that the victory was “stolen” from him by President Joe Biden.
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