Trump is expected to be arraigned Tuesday while the prosecutor is indicted

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump said in a social media post that he expects to be arrested Tuesday as a New York prosecutor pursues charges in a case examining kickbacks paid to women who allegedly had sex with the former president. Trump has offered no evidence to suggest he was directly informed of a pending arrest, and has not said how he knew of such plans.

But in a Saturday morning message on his Truth social network, Trump noted “illegal leaks” from the Manhattan district attorney’s office that he said indicated “THE REPUBLICAN DEPARTMENT CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY NEXT WEEK.”

Danielle Filson, of the district attorney’s office, said prosecutors “will decline to confirm or comment” on questions about Trump’s post, as well as potential charges. A spokesman for Trump did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Indicting Trump, 76, would be an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal relationships. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump, a 2024 presidential contender, lied and cheated his way to the top and embolden supporters who believe the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.

In his social media post, Trump repeated his lies that the 2020 presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was stolen and urged his followers to “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION!” That language evoked the then-president’s message that preceded the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, when his supporters smashed the doors and windows of that building and left officers battered and bloodied as they tried to stop the certification of the election.

Law enforcement officials in New York have made security preparations for the possibility that Trump could be indicted.

There has been no public announcement of any timeframe for the grand jury’s secret work in the case, including any potential vote on whether to indict the former president.

Trump’s post echoes one he made last summer, when he broke the news on Truth Social that the FBI was raiding his home as part of an investigation into the possible mishandling of classified documents.

A Manhattan grand jury heard from witnesses, including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier.

Trump denies the meetings took place, says he did nothing wrong and has dismissed the investigation as a “witch hunt” by a Democratic prosecutor bent on sabotaging the Republican’s 2024 presidential campaign.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office is reportedly looking into whether any state law was broken in connection with the payments or how the Trump company compensated Cohen for his work in keeping the women’s allegations under wraps.

Daniels and at least two former Trump aides — former political adviser Kellyanne Conway and former press secretary Hope Hicks — are among the witnesses who have met with prosecutors in recent weeks.

Cohen said that under Trump’s direction, he arranged payments totaling $280,000 to porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. According to Cohen, the payments were to buy their silence about Trump, who was then in the midst of a presidential campaign.

Cohen and federal prosecutors said the company paid him $420,000 to reimburse him for a $130,000 payment to Daniels and to cover bonuses and other alleged expenses. The Company classified these payments internally as legal expenses. The $150,000 payment to McDougal was made by the then-publisher of the supermarket tabloid National Enquirer, which prevented her story from coming to light.

Federal prosecutors agreed not to prosecute the Enquirer’s parent company in exchange for its cooperation in a campaign finance investigation that led to charges against Cohen in 2018. Prosecutors said the payments to Daniels and McDougal represented impermissible, unrecorded gifts to Trump’s campaign.

Cohen pleaded guilty, served prison time and was disbarred. Federal prosecutors have never charged Trump with a crime. ___

Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina, contributed to this report.

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