After former President Trump shared a post on Truth Social claiming he will be arrested on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the former president clarified that Trump has seen no “alert” — other than “illegal leaks” to the press — that he will be arrested next week.
While waiting Tuesday to decide whether he will be indicted, constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley responded Saturday to the allegation and potential indictment, slamming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“You could say Bragg is out of his lane, but in this case he’s on a completely different highway,” Turley said on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Saturday. “This is an attempt by a government official to effectively prosecute a federal crime, a crime that the Justice Department decided not to prosecute.”
The potential indictment stems from the year-long investigation into Trump’s alleged hush money scandal involving porn star Stormy Daniels. Toward the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen sent Daniels $130,000 to prevent her from disclosing her 2006 affair with Trump. Trump reimbursed Cohen through installments.
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Reports surfaced that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is preparing to file an indictment over alleged welfare payments Trump made as a 2016 presidential candidate.
Trump lashed out at the reports hinted he would be arrested next week via his Truth Social app on Saturday morning, telling his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION.”
“NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT AND HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WHO HAS ALLOWED NEW PRINCIPALS IN VIOLENCE AND WHOSE LEADER IS FINANCED BY GEORGE SORASE, DOESN’T PROVIDE AN OLD AND COMPLETELY DISCONTINUED (OF NUMEROUS OTHER ALLEGATIONS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR AND AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY NEXT WEEK!” Trump next week! wrote.
A Trump spokesperson added a clarification to the former president’s Truth Social blast.
“There has been no word, other than illegal leaks from the Department of Justice and the DA’s office, to NBC and other fake news outlets, that the George Soros-funded prosecution of radical left Democrats in Manhattan has decided to take its witch hunt to the next level . President Trump is rightly highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our system of injustice,” the spokesperson said, adding that the former president would be in Texas next weekend for a “huge rally.”
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A legal source told Fox News Digital Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office will meet with police to “discuss logistics some time next week, which would mean they expect an indictment next week.”
“You have the Manhattan DA taking a case to court that the Justice Department refused to do. And that raises some obvious questions,” Turley said, echoing concerns that Bragg is pursuing the case for political reasons.
Turley noted that there are a “number of flaws” in the case if Trump is indicted. One of the most obvious problems in the case will be proving that the funds given to Daniels were paid for with the election in mind.
“You have to show that the money was paid solely with the election in mind. Obviously, there are many different reasons why a married man would want to put down a scandal with a former stripper,” Turley said.
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It is also a problem that the limitation period has expired.
“I think Bragg is out of time. The statute of limitations is about two years on this offense. It’s already passed,” Turley explained. “You can extend it to five years if you connect it as a felony to another felony. Even after five years, I’m not sure the time hasn’t expired. So there’s going to be some very intense challenges here.”
While the president has been under scrutiny and investigation for a number of cases, the potential indictment in New York has many questioning the role politics can play.
“The only reason I think we’re seeing this case is because two of his prosecutors withdrew. In my view, they acted really inappropriately. In the case of one of them who wrote a book about someone who wasn’t even charged, they alone convicted. And that pressure eventually took its toll on Bragg, and they come up with this rather outlandish charge based on falsifying state records and connect it to an uncharged federal crime,” Turley said.
With the 2024 presidential election approaching, the potential indictment on Tuesday could have further implications for the campaign season.
“Unless this case is dropped because of one of these failures, it’s going to destroy the work. And it’s unfortunate that we’re already starting this environment. This has the feel of a thrill kill for many on the left, and they need to think seriously about what this means for the justice system,” Turley said.
Turley warned Americans not to “assume” that “the rule of law is dead” despite the unpleasant circumstances.
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“I think we have to be careful not to just assume in the most inflammatory way that the rule of law is dead. This is not the first DA to give in to public pressure to bring charges.”
Fox News’ Kyle Morris, Marta Dhanis, Adam Sabes, Brandon Gillespie and Andrea Vacchiano contributed to this report.