What happens if Donald Trump is arrested? Hush money scandal explored as former President creates a stir with Truth Social post

Donald Trump has claimed that he expects to be arrested next Tuesday amid the hush money investigation (Image via Getty Images)
Donald Trump has claimed that he expects to be arrested next Tuesday amid the hush money investigation (Image via Getty Images)

Donald Trump recently took to his Truth Social online platform to claim that he would be arrested on Tuesday over the 2016 hush money payment investigation involving Stormy Daniels.

The former president wrote in all-caps that “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan DA have provided the possibility of his arrest:

“Now illegal leaks from a corrupt & highly political Manhattan district attorney’s office, which has allowed new records to be set in violent crime & whose leader is funded by George Soros, indicate that, with no crime being able to be proven, & based on an old & fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!)”

He then called upon his supporters to protest and take the nation back during his arrest:

“Fairytale, the far & away leading republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week. Protest, take our nation back!”

A Donald Trump spokesperson later told USA Today that there was “no notification” of a possible indictment other than reports from the news media and “leaks from the Justice Dept. and the DA’s office.”

Trump lawyer Susan Necheles also echoed similar sentiments while speaking to CBS News:

“Since this is a political prosecution, the district attorney's office has engaged in a practice of leaking everything to the press, rather than communicating with President Trump's attorneys as would be done in a normal case.”

However, the former President’s call for protests sparked concern amongst some officials. A source familiar with the situation told USA Today that the appeal for demonstrations may prompt a larger security footprint in New York and more agents might need to follow Trump’s movement.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who was convicted in the hush money scandal and testified against the politician, told the publication that the former president’s Truth Social post reminded him of his actions before the January 6 Capitol attack:

“Donald’s post is eerily similar to his battle cry prior to the January 6th insurrection; including calling for protest. By doing so, Donald is hoping to rile his base, witness another violent clash on his behalf and profit from it by soliciting contributions.”

Meanwhile, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy took to Twitter to call out the investigation by dubbing it “an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA.” He also pledged to investigate the usage of federal money to interfere in elections “with politically motivated prosecutions.”

If Donald Trump is indicted, it would be the first ever criminal case brought against a former U.S. president.

The case might also bring serious consequences for Trump’s upcoming campaign in his bid to become the Republican nominee in the 2024 presidential election.


Exploring the scenario involving Donald Trump’s possible arrest

Donald Trump recently took to Truth Social to share that he expects to be arrested next week in the wake of his hush money payment investigation.

While Trump’s arrest or indictment would be the first criminal charge against any U.S. President in history, experts have shared that the politician’s arrest is unlikely.

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Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told USA Today that an indictment is not the same as an arrest and defendants are usually not arrested in such cases. The prosecutor explained that an indictment is a formal charge of a crime, while an arrest is an act of taking the suspect into custody:

“Typically defendants are not arrested in cases like this one when they’re represented by counsel.”

Former federal prosecutor and University of Michigan law professor Barbara McQuade said cases like Trump's often involve a self-surrender instead of arrest:

“Unless he is a risk of flight or danger to the community, self surrender seems typical in this kind of case. He would be booked and have his fingerprints and mugshot taken, and then likely released on bond.”

Another anonymous former top prosecutor in the office of the former Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, told Business Insider that Donald Trump could be arraigned without spending a moment in custody:

“My strong bet, and it's what I would do, is that they not arrest him. Instead, the court could issue him a criminal summons. He would appear in court and then get printed before or after. No cuffs.”
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According to the publication, the former president can only be indicted after the grand jury foreperson signs a document listing the alleged charges made against Trump. The indictment is usually handed over to the defense team in the courtroom.

However, veteran Manhattan defense lawyer Ron Kuby told Business Insider that the DA could ask the judge to unseal the case early “given the public interest in the case.”

Karen Friedman Agnifilo, a former chief assistant with the Manhattan district attorney's office, said that in typical white-collar indictments, the defendant surrenders at the DA’s headquarters in Lower Manhattan at a set time on a discussed date.

The individual is then handed over to the custody of DA investigators or armed peace officers who are often former NYPD cops. If Trump is indicted and agrees to surrender, officials will escort him to be booked.

Investigators would then take his mugshot and fingerprints and swab his cheek to get a mandatory sample for New York's DNA database. A small Secret Service detail would reportedly stay with the former president throughout the process.

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Once he receives the clean prints from the FBI database, indicating no outstanding warrants, he will then be taken to court. Experts have suggested that upon seeing the hard copy of the indictment, the politician would then plead not guilty, or his lawyers would enter that not guilty plea on his behalf.

Reports suggest that even if the legal proceedings take place, Donald Trump might be freed on bail or remain free without any bail set in the first place.


A look into Donald Trump’s hush money scandal

In January 2018, the Wall Street Journal published a story revealing that Donald Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, made a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with the former president.

Daniels appeared in a 60 Minutes interview claiming that she met Trump at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada in 2006 and the duo went on to have an alleged extra-marital affair.

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Following the publication of the article, Cohen said that Trump “vehemently denied” having an affair with Daniels. However, the lawyer did not address the payment. In February 2018, the attorney acknowledged making the payment to Daniels for the first time but refused to being reimbursed.

He also said that the payment “was lawful” and not a “campaign contribution or campaign expenditure by anyone.” The following month, Stormy Daniels sued Donald Trump and Essential Consultants LLC in California in an attempt to nullify the nondisclosure agreement.

She argued that the deal was invalid as it was never signed by Trump. In the suit, Daniels alleged that she had an “intimate relationship” with Trump between 2006 and 2007. She also claimed that she accepted $130,000 from Michael Cohen in exchange for her silence about the alleged affair.

Daniels also accused Cohen of using “intimidation and coercive tactics” to get her to sign a statement denying the affair. In April 2018, Donald Trump addressed the allegations publicly and said that he was not aware of the payment made to the former.

That same month, the FBI executed a search warrant at Cohen’s office and residence. In May 2018, Trump’s new attorney Rudy Giuliani shockingly admitted that Cohen was, in fact, reimbursed for the $130,000 payment.

In August 2018, Cohen ultimately pled guilty to charges of tax evasion, fraud and campaign finance violations, including a payment made to Daniels. He also claimed that Donald Trump directed him to make the payments before being sentenced to three years in federal prison in December 2018.

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The Department of Justice eventually closed the investigation into Trump in 2019 but Manhattan prosecutors continued the investigation at the state level.

The case reportedly remained took a backseat for a few years before The New York Times reported in November 2022 that Manhattan’s new district attorney, Alvin Bragg, had ordered his office to reopen the investigation.


Twitter reacts to Donald Trump’s Truth Social arrest post

Donald Trump's Truth Social post about being arrested caused a stir on social media (Image via Getty Images)
Donald Trump's Truth Social post about being arrested caused a stir on social media (Image via Getty Images)

Donald Trump caused a major stir on social media after claiming that he is expecting to be arrested on Tuesday amid the ongoing 2016 hush money payment scandal involving Stormy Daniels.

While Trump spokespersons confirmed that there is “no notification” about the former president’s possible arrest or indictment, Trump called on his supporters to protest if he is arrested.

Several social media users also took to Twitter to react to Donald Trump's viral Truth Social post:

As reactions continue to pour in online, sources close to Donald Trump mentioned that the politician’s claims were based on media reports and that the politician will be in Texas for a giant rally next weekend.

However, Trump's lawyer Joe Tacopina said that if the former president is indicted over his 2016 hush money payment, he will surrender to authorities and “there won’t be a standoff at Mar-a-Lago with Secret Service and the Manhattan DA’s office.”

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