Law enforcement officials at the local, state, and federal levels are preparing for the possibility that former President Donald Trump will be indicted as early as next week, according to those familiar with the situation.
Officials say law enforcement agencies are conducting security assessments while discussing potential security plans in and around the Manhattan Criminal Court in the event Trump is charged in connection with an alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He would travel to New York to face any charges.
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 have all begun preparations for a possible Trump indictment.
Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told FWRD AXIS News the former president will follow normal procedures if he is indicted and travels to New York to face the charges against him.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to a federal charge relating to a $130,000 payment in the closing days of the 2016 campaign. Daniels has said the money was paid to her to keep quiet about sleeping with a married Trump in 2006, an allegation Trump denies.
Cohen testified under oath Trump ordered him to pay the hush money and that it was for the “principal purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election. The former president has denied any wrongdoing, saying the probes against him are for political purposes.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has also opened an investigation against Trump for felony falsification of business records.
Threats have begun circulating online from groups such as the Proud Boys and QAnon, calling for rallies outside of the courthouse by Trump supporters to protest the possible indictment.
While the process of surrender, processing an arrest, going through an arraignment, and, presumably, a release from the courthouse is fairly routine, it is unprecedented complications and considerations around how to handle a former president of the United States under armed Secret Service protection.