Convicted felon, key witness Michael Cohen claims Trump seeks 'violent clash' ahead of indictment
Donald Trump urged his supporters to protest against his potential arrest and indictment
Michael Cohen has warned that Donald Trump may be looking to stir up controversy and a "violent clash" after revealing that he expects an arrest ahead of a potential indictment.
"Donald’s post is eerily similar to his battle cry prior to the January 6th insurrection; including calling for protest," Cohen told The New York Post Saturday. "By doing so, Donald is hoping to rile his base, witness another violent clash on his behalf and profit from it by soliciting contributions."
Trump posted on Truth Social that he expects an arrest in Manhattan on Tuesday as the District Attorney’s Office seeks to bring charges against him in the case of alleged hush money payments involving porn actress Stormy Daniels. He urged his supporters to protest and "TAKE OUR NATION BACK!"
Toward the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump's then-lawyer Michael Cohen sent $130,000 to Daniels to prevent her from disclosing her 2006 affair with Trump. Trump reimbursed Cohen through installments.
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Trump’s post lashed out at the Manhattan DA, saying the allegations were based on "OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE." Trump and some Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have accused Democrats of weaponizing the legal system against the former president.
Reached for comment Friday, the Manhattan District Attorney's office would not "confirm or comment" on the impending indictment. An indictment would be the first of its kind against a former U.S. president.
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Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said that the former president received "no notification, other than illegal leaks" about the plans for his arrest, but Cohen argued that the district attorney must have reached out to provoke this kind of response.
"Donald would have no reason to put out the statement unless he has been contacted by the [office of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg] and advised accordingly," Cohen said.
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Cohen pled guilty in 2018 to charges related to the payment, including lying to Congress, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
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He was sentenced to three years in prison, but spent only about one year in prison before transferring to home confinement for the remainder of his sentence due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox News' Marta Dhanis, Adam Sabes, and Brandon Gillespie and Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report.