Trump supporters gathering in NYC with indictment possible Wednesday
NEW YORK — Donald Trump supporters flocked to the lower Manhattan courthouses Tuesday — the day he predicted his arrest — with possible criminal charges against the former president expected to land as soon as Wednesday in the Stormy Daniels hush money probe.
Cheri Saxon, 45, said she had traveled from Chicago to protest the potential indictment on charges related to Trump’s alleged payment to porn star Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.
“I’m here to protest what’s going on right now with the DA here,” Saxon said. “I hate Biden. I hate this whole administration. They’re ruining us. Biden is making us look weak. He’s bringing us into World War III. I mean, for Christ’s sake, it’s gotta stop. We need to stage a coup and get him out of there.”
Matthew Eastman, 34, of Manhattan, was selling “Make America Great Again” caps off the back of his pickup truck outside Family Court.
“I’m out to support my president. I don’t want to see him go to jail. I don’t think he’s going. I think he’s a free man. He deserves to be free. He did a lot for this country that no other president has,” Eastman said.
District Attorney Alvin Bragg has remained mum on the status of a grand jury investigation into Trump believed to be wrapping up based on an invitation to testify extended to Trump himself — which he declined — sending veteran defense lawyer Robert Costello instead.
The panel heard from Costello on Monday. The attorney, who has represented former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and right-wing strategist Steve Bannon, said he contacted prosecutors seeking to provide evidence he said would discredit Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime fixer-turned-enemy.
Cohen, who has twice testified before the grand jury, is central to the probe into the $130,000 payment to buy Daniels’ silence about a sexual tryst she alleges she had with Trump during a 2006 Lake Tahoe charity golf event.
Cohen went to federal prison for issuing the payment to Daniels, spending half his sentence at his family residence at Trump Park Avenue in an ankle monitor.
Cohen was in the building on standby during Costello’s testimony but left without the DA calling him as a rebuttal witness. It wasn’t clear whether the DA planned to on Wednesday, when the grand jury will meet again.
Once all the evidence is presented, the panel will vote on whether to indict Trump. The criminal charges would mark the first brought against a former U.S. president.
Sources connected to the investigation say Bragg is considering felony level charges against Trump related to how he paid Cohen back for payment to Daniels.
In his guilty plea, Cohen said the hush money was made at Trump’s direction for the “principal purpose” of influencing the 2016 presidential election. The feds said he falsely billed Trump for retainer services, with the president and his company falsely logging the reimbursement as “legal expenses.” Trump was famously referred to in the federal case as “Individual 1.”
Costello, who acted as a legal adviser to Cohen after his office and hotel room were raided by the FBI in 2018, sought to show grand jurors at least 300 emails concerning his relationship to Cohen. He said they were only interested in a handful and that he asked the panel to request to review all of them.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Daniels said she had plans for how to celebrate if Trump winds up getting his mugshot taken.
“I won’t walk, I’ll dance down the street when he is ‘selected‘ to go to jail,“ Daniels said.
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