The possibility of Trump’s arrest creates sympathy among supporters
The possibility that Donald Trump could be charged with allegedly concealing hush money payments to a porn star during his 2016 campaign draws sympathy for the former Republican president, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said Sunday.
Trump, whose supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 to try to reverse his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, said in a social media post on Saturday that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday — under Citing leaks from the Manhattan Attorney’s Office – and calling for protest. He did not address possible charges in his post.
“It builds a lot of sympathy for the former president,” Sununu told CNN’s State of the Union program, saying he spoke to some people Sunday who weren’t “big Trump supporters,” but all said… they felt that he was being attacked.”
Trump is targeting the Republican nomination in 2024. Sununu, a relatively moderate, contemplates a run.
A spokesman for Trump said the former president was not notified of any arrest and Trump did not provide evidence of leaks from the Manhattan DA’s office.
No US President has been prosecuted – during or after his term of office.
Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if he is charged with a crime.
A spokesman for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office is investigating a $130,000 hush payment made to pornographic actor Stormy Daniels by Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, declined to comment.
Sources have said that Bragg’s office presented evidence to a grand jury for the payment, made in the closing days of the 2016 campaign in return for Daniel’s silence about an affair she had with Trump a decade earlier.
Trump has denied the affair happened and has called the investigation by Bragg, a Democrat, a witch hunt.
Another witness is scheduled to appear before the grand jury Monday at the request of Trump’s attorneys, a person familiar with the matter said Saturday.
Trump’s statement that he expects to be arrested Tuesday is based on news reports that Bragg’s office will be meeting with law enforcement to prepare a possible indictment, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Legal experts have said that if he were indicted, a trial for the former US president was still more than a year away, possibly coinciding with the final months of the 2024 presidential campaign as Trump seeks a return to the White House.
Asked if she was concerned about possible violence after Trump called on his supporters to protest, Senator Elizabeth Warren told ABC News, “This is another instance of Donald Trump promoting Donald Trump’s interests.”
Warren said there was no cause for protest, as requested by Trump, adding: “No one is above the law.”
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Kanishka Singh; Editing by Mark Porter)