Authorities Are Fielding Threats and Preparing for Pro-Trump Protesters Ahead of Possible Wednesday Indictment

A Manhattan grand jury is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to indict the former president over an alleged hush money payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference
Donald Trump. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Donald Trump may be indicted on Wednesday in one of the ongoing criminal investigations involving him, outlets including NewsNation and The Guardian report.

Citing sources, NewsNation reports that a Manhattan grand jury is expected to vote Wednesday whether to indict the former president over an alleged hush money payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.

The former president previously posted on social media that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday.

The New York Times reports that senior officials from the district attorney's office and the New York agency that runs the state courts "had preliminary discussions to plan for a possible indictment and arraignment" of Trump last week. The Times adds that officials from the New York Police Department — which handles security where an arraignment would take place — also met to prepare for potential security threats.

Trump himself has specifically urged his supporters to protest if he is arrested, writing: "Protest, take our nation back," in a post shared on Truth Social last week.

For law enforcement agencies, Trump's call for protests conjured up images of Jan. 6, 2021, when the then-president called on a group of supporters to "fight like hell" and "march to the U.S. Capitol" as he continued to claim the election he lost was somehow rigged against him.

Once at the Capitol, his supporters than overtook Capitol Police officers (in some cases physically beating them) and entered the building illegally. The mob forced the evacuation of lawmakers in what soon became a deadly scene, leading to multiple investigations, hundreds of arrests and the death of a Capitol officer.

Now, with an indictment decision looming, New York and Washington, D.C. authorities are anticipating unrest and enhancing security measures.

Law enforcement officials in New York, speaking anonymously, told the Associated Press they were making preliminary plans to boost security in the event of an indictment, which could lead to a potential court appearance by the former president.

Already, The Guardian reports, protesters have begun to gather outside the Manhattan courthouse where the grand jury is meeting. Meanwhile, CBS News reports that law enforcement have noted a "significant increase" in online threats from right-wing extremist groups ahead of the potential indictment.

On Tuesday, the Manhattan court was delayed in beginning its proceedings due to an unfounded bomb threat, while a suspicious package spotted in the Hart Senate Office Building led to a brief response from Capitol Police.

Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump. Steve Granitz/WireImage; Scott Olson/Getty

An indictment of Trump in New York would stem from an investigation into an alleged hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels while he was a 2016 presidential candidate.

Trump had allegedly had a sexual encounter with Daniels years earlier, and in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that he'd arranged a $130,000 payment to the ex-porn star a month before the 2016 election so she'd keep quiet about it.

While Trump and his longtime lawyer Michael Cohen initially denied the claims of an affair, Cohen later admitted that there was a payment made to the porn star.

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Calling it "a private transaction," Cohen told The New York Times that he paid Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket in 2016. He said Trump had not reimbursed him.

Trump has since admitted he authorized the $130,000 payment, but has continued to deny the underlying claims that the two had an affair or that the payment was in any way connected to his campaign.

He has called the investigation, which is being led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office, a "witch hunt," per NBC News. He has also accused Bragg of being a "racist," the outlet added.

Trump's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, previously spoke with CNBC and said that Trump will surrender to face criminal charges, should he be indicted.

"[He] will follow normal procedures if it gets to that point," Tacopina told the outlet on Friday.

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