Barricades set up near Trump Tower, police on high alert, and throngs of journalists outside the prosecutor’s office: New York was waiting Tuesday for the likely indictment of Donald Trump, but the timing remained uncertain. The ex-president himself claimed he would be “arrested” on Tuesday over hush money paid to a pornographic actress, but his lawyer said the comments were based on media reports and not any fresh action by prosecutors.
Some US media speculated that the grand jury hearing the case could vote to indict on Wednesday but that it may be next week before Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announces any charges.
Bragg, an elected Democrat, has not confirmed any plans publicly and grand juries operate in secret to prevent perjury or witness tampering before trials, making it virtually impossible to follow their proceedings.
The DA has put key witnesses in front of the panel in recent weeks and offered Trump the opportunity to testify, hinting that an indictment is close.
The 76-year-old Republican would become the first former or sitting president to be charged with a crime if an indictment is filed — a move that would send shockwaves through the 2024 White House race, in which Trump is running to regain office.
The New York Police Department has geared up for an unprecedented arrest or self-surrender which would see an ex-leader of the United States booked, fingerprinted and possibly even handcuffed, by erecting barricades outside Bragg’s office and Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue.—AFP