Officials prepare for possible protests ahead of expected Trump indictment

NEW YORK CITY — Officials in New York City, Washington and other cities are bracing for possible unrest amid speculation that former President Donald Trump could face criminal charges as soon as this week.

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In New York City, officials met virtually Sunday to discuss plans to deal with any potential protests after authorities got together last week to discuss logistics in case an indictment comes down, The New York Times reported. Officials in Atlanta and Palm Beach, Florida, home to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, told The Washington Post that they were monitoring the situation.

“We’re seeing the same things on social media, so we’re aware of the possibilities,” Palm Beach Police Maj. John Scanlon said, according to the newspaper. “But as far as definite plans, we’re under the same impression as anybody else that there may or may not be things going on tomorrow. We’ll monitor as much as we can. We’re always prepared for possible things that may come up.”

Reuters reported that workers put up barricades outside a Manhattan courthouse days after Trump said in a social media post that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday. He urged his followers to “TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” and protest, a call to action that raised concerns following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Fearing a possible law enforcement trap, many of his supporters responded to the call with ambivalence, The Associated Press reported. Since the Jan. 6, 2021, attack, at least 1,000 people have been arrested and charged, according to the Justice Department.

An unidentified source close to Trump’s legal team told CNN that, if the former president is indicted, they do not anticipate he will be arrested or make a court appearance until as early as next week. The exact timing of a possible indictment remains unclear.

A grand jury in New York City has been investigating Trump’s role in a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of his 2016 presidential run, the Times reported.

If charged, Trump could become the first U.S. president to face a criminal indictment.

Trump, who served one term in the White House after losing his re-election bid to President Joe Biden in 2020, last year announced plans to join the 2024 presidential race.

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