Why Does Donald Trump Think He Will Be Arrested?

The former US president would have to pose for a mugshot if charged in New York over allegedly covering up hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Donald Trump will have to pose for a mugshot if – as he expects – the former president is charged in New York this week for allegedly covering up hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

What could happened?

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg appears likely to charge Trump with crimes related to a $130,000 payment made to the porn star in the final days of his 2016 run for the presidency.

Trump has denied the affair, and his lawyer has accused Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, of extortion.

Reports have suggested charges against Trump could relate to falsifying business records and violating state campaign finance law.

What has Trump said?

In a social media post on Saturday, Trump said he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and called on his followers to protest – despite his lawyer and spokesperson saying there had been no communication from prosecutors.


According to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, Trump is “very anxious” ahead of a possible indictment.

Haberman told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday: “He’s very anxious about the prospect of being indicted for a couple of reasons. Two things can be true at once. He is aware that there are reasons to believe this could help him politically. … but he does not want to face getting arrested, which is what happens when you get indicted. You get fingerprinted. You get brought in. You have to ask for bail. None of that is something that he is excited about.”

Haberman went on to reiterate her reporting last week that Team Trump is preparing for a broad attack against Bragg and his associates amid any charges, hoping to smear the group as Democratic agents and linking them to his 2024 rival, president Joe Biden.

His message seemed designed to galvanise outrage from his base in advance of the widely anticipated charges. Within hours, his campaign was sending fundraising messages to his supporters.

The rallying cry has echoes of the rhetoric he used shortly before the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

So will we see a Trump mugshot?

Any indictment would require Trump to travel to the district attorney’s office in downtown New York to surrender. In white-collar cases, the defendant’s lawyers and prosecutors typically agree on a date and time.

Trump would have his fingerprints and mugshot taken and would appear for the charges to be read before him in court. Experts say he would likely be released and allowed to head home.

Trump’s aides and legal team have said that he would surrender if charged. If Trump refused to come in voluntarily, prosecutors could seek to have him extradited from Florida, where he currently resides.

Why is it big news?

If an indictment comes, it would mark the first instance in American history of a former president facing criminal charges, and would come after years of investigations into the 76-year-old’s business, political and personal dealings.

Any trial of the former US president would still be more than a year away, legal experts said, and could coincide with the final months of the 2024 presidential campaign as Trump seeks a return to the White House.

Polls show him leading other potential rivals for the Republican nomination, including Florida governor Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to mount a bid.

Will there be protests?

It is unclear whether Trump still holds as much sway since leaving the White House. Trump’s posts on Truth Social generally receive far less attention than he used to get on Twitter, but he maintains a loyal base.

The aftermath of the January 6 riot, in which hundreds of Trump loyalists were arrested and prosecuted in court, may also have undermine his efforts to get supporters out in force.

What else does Trump face?

The Manhattan case is the least serious of the potential criminal cases targetting Trump. A federal special prosecutor, Jack Smith, is investigating both Trump’s handling of classified documents and his role in the January 6 Capitol riot. And a grand jury in Georgia could soon hand up charges related to Trump’s efforts to change election results there.


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