NYPD, Secret Service discuss security plans should Trump be indicted
Written by ABC Audio. All rights reserved. on March 21, 2023
(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Secret Service is coordinating security plans with the New York Police Department in the event that former President Donald Trump is indicted and arraigned in an open courtroom in Manhattan, according to sources.
The two agencies had a call Monday to discuss logistics, including court security and how Trump would potentially surrender for booking and processing, according to sources briefed on the discussions.
White collar criminal defendants in New York are typically allowed to negotiate a surrender.
Earlier Monday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he was “confident” the city is prepared for any protests related to a potential indictment of the former president.
“We are monitoring comments on social media, and the NYPD is doing their normal role of making sure there is no inappropriate actions in the city,” Adams said Monday at an unrelated press conference. “We are confident we’re going to be able to do that.”
Writing on his Truth Social platform Saturday, Trump called for protests against what he said was his expected arrest Tuesday, in connection with the Manhattan district attorney’s probe into the 2016 hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, paid $130,000 to Daniels in the closing days of the 2016 presidential campaign to allegedly keep her quiet about an affair she claimed to have had with Trump. The former president has denied the affair and his attorneys have framed the funds as an extortion payment.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is mulling whether to charge Trump with falsifying business records, after the Trump Organization allegedly reimbursed Cohen for the payment then logged the reimbursement as a legal expense, sources have told ABC News. Trump has called the payment “a private contract between two parties” and has denied all wrongdoing.
Adams said city officials have heard “a lot of reports” about a potential indictment, but told reporters he has not met with Bragg nor discussed the matter with him.
Online posts indicate there appear to be a handful of small protests being organized by different grassroots groups. But Ali Alexander, the conservative activist behind the “Stop the Steal” movement, publicly said that his group will not organize any protests.
In Palm Beach County, Florida, sources confirmed to ABC News that authorities were preparing for protests near Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate should the former president be indicted.
On Sunday a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators gathered on the bridge connecting Palm Beach to the mainland. They said they would return with more people on Tuesday or sooner if Trump were to be indicted, according to reports.
An intelligence bulletin issued Sunday by the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C., and obtained by ABC News, says that some extremists consider the possible indictment of Trump a “line in the sand.”
“Potential criminal justice actions taken toward a former US president — or actions perceived to be taken toward the former president — remain a ‘line in the sand’ for Domestic Violent Extremists (DVE) communities and thus have the potential to manifest in violence toward government targets or political officials,” said the bulletin from the DC Fusion Center, a threat intelligence group within the agency.
The bulletin notes that the Trump’s social media post in which he called for protests “was met with an immediate increase in violent online rhetoric and expressed threats toward government and law enforcement targets perceived as participating in a political persecution of the former president, as well as calls for ‘Civil War’ more generally. Of the concerning posts observed by the DC Fusion Center, many described the potential arrest of the former president as a ‘red line’ or ‘line in the sand,’ after which violent action was the only possible outcome.”
“This uptick in rhetoric associated with an alleged indictment against the former president represents the most significant 24-hour traction observed by the Fusion Center since the August 2022 search warrant service at Mar-a-Lago,” the bulletin said.
The FBI is warning local and state police agencies around the country about concerns related to a possible indictment of Trump, but the bureau says it doesn’t have any additional information.
“The FBI continues to closely monitor a potential Indictment of the former President which open source reporting has indicated may occur in the coming week,” the FBI said in a warning obtained by ABC News.
“At the present time there is no information to confirm this indictment nor is there any information to indicate violence or criminal activity is planned,” said the FBI, adding there’s no sign that anything “other than First Amendment protected action is being planned.”
The U.S. Capitol Police also issued their own assessment regarding potential violence, saying that they have seen “no current indication of threats directed at the US Capitol or Members of Congress” as it relates to Trump.
The organization “has not yet seen any indication of large-scale organized protests and/or violence, as (it) did leading up to January 6, 2021,” the assessment, which was obtained by ABC News, said.
No current or former U.S. president has ever been indicted for criminal conduct.
ABC News’ Jay O’Brien contributed to this report.
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