NEW YORK, March 18 (AFP)- Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday said he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as prosecutors consider charges over hush money payments to a porn star, and called on his supporters to protest.
A spokesperson for the Manhattan district attorney's office, which brought the case related to porn actor Stormy Daniels, declined to comment.
No U.S. president - while in office or afterwards - has faced criminal charges. Trump is seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024. He has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.
"Illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney's office ... indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven ... the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week," Trump wrote on Truth Social.
"Protest, take our nation back!" said Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, to try to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat.
Trump did not say he had been formally notified of forthcoming charges and provided no evidence of leaks from the district attorney's office. He did not discuss the possible charges in the post.
A Trump spokesperson said in a statement to reporters that, “There has been no notification," beyond what they called "illegal leaks" to the media.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office earlier this year presented evidence to a grand jury about a $130,000 hush money payment that Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, made to porn star Stormy Daniels in the waning days of Trump's 2016 election campaign.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she had an affair with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair happened.
Bragg's office earlier this month invited Trump to testify before the grand jury probing the hush money payments, according to Trump's lawyer, Susan Necheles. Legal experts said that was a sign that an indictment was close.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal campaign finance violations tied to his arranging payments to Daniels and another woman in exchange for their silence about affairs they said they'd had with Trump, among other crimes. He has said Trump directed him to make the payments. The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan did not charge Trump with a crime.