The Big Apple is shuttering ahead of the expected arrest of former President Donald Trump early this week.
State, city and federal law enforcement agencies have met in recent weeks to discuss how to handle the expected widespread protests following Trump’s arrest as his supporters already descend outside Trump Tower.
The New York Police Department is even considering mobilizing its riot squad, the Daily beast reports, fearing that Trump’s arrest could result in MAGA conservatives and anti-Trump protesters alike having to face charges outside Manhattan criminal court while he faces charges.
Trump faces criminal charges for $130,000 payments his former attorney, Michael Cohen, made to porn star Stormy Daniels toward the end of his 2016 campaign. Prosecutors say the payment violated campaign finance laws and was made to silence Daniels about an affair she had with the mogul.
Several MAGA fans have now descended upon Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in a brazen attempt to avoid his arrest.
Former President Donald Trump (pictured here Saturday) is expected to be arrested early this week on New York State charges over alleged hush money payments he made to Stormy Daniels
Former President Trump urged his supporters to ‘protest’ as he claimed he would be arrested as early as Tuesday
Two supporters of the former president are pictured here Friday at Trump Tower ahead of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade
New York Police Department representatives told the Daily Beast that they are closely monitoring social media and are working with federal authorities and other law enforcement agencies to assess the scope of any protests.
The force can deploy its ‘Strategic Response Group’, consisting of 700 members trained in ‘disaster management’.
And if necessary, they said, they could escalate the situation by deploying a level 4 alert — which would put eight officers and a sergeant on standby at every police station in New York City.
At the same time, authorities are mobilizing security officers at the state Supreme Court building in lower Manhattan amid fears that both pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters will gather outside the Manhattan Criminal Court — which could lead to to possible violence.
The NYPD and FBI are also coordinating a contingency plan to deal with an increase in threats against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his staff if some of Trump’s more extremist supporters target them.
And Secret Service agents in charge of Trump’s details in South Florida, as well as those in New York, would coordinate how they will get Trump through the crowd of protesters and the media to the district attorney’s office.
Part of that discussion, CNN reports, citing people with knowledge of the talks, included the need to secure a space outside Trump Tower for a potential press conference.
New York police are now preparing for violent confrontations outside Trump Tower if the former president is arrested
Trump posted this photo of his supporters during the St. Patrick’s Day parade Saturday on his Truth Social
A street performer known as Crackhead Barney interacts with supporters of former President Trump during the parade
Dion Cini shows off a MAGA t-shirt after introducing himself as the regional leader of “white lives matter” at the St. Patrick’s Day parade
A Trump supporter is seen here wearing Trump sneakers stepping on a poster featuring the face of Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential challenger in 2024
Trump has said he expects to be arrested as early as Tuesday on state charges for the payouts to Stormy Daniels, urging his supporters to “protest, protest, protest.”
Several have already taken that advice and are planning a moat around Mar-a-Lago in South Florida to prevent his arrest, while others are gathering outside Trump Tower in Manhattan.
In response, Manhattan District Attorney Bragg released a memo reassuring his office workers about their safety and claiming that law enforcement is on alert to investigate any threats.
He did not name Trump, but said the threats were related to an “ongoing investigation by this agency.”
“Please know that your safety is our top priority,” Bragg said in the memo first reported by Politico.
“We will not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York,” he added.
Bragg had previously presented evidence to a New York grand jury regarding the payment of $130,000 to Daniels in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair.
The payment was listed as “legal fees,” which Bragg’s office says is a violation of New York law that prohibits falsifying business records.
Trump has repeatedly denied these claims, and his attorney has accused Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — of racketeering.
But if charged, authorities would set a date and time for Trump’s surrender, after which he would be taken directly to a judge, where he would likely be released on his own admission.
And as with every other New York defendant, Bragg has said Trump would be fingerprinted and brought in to take a mugshot.
Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg (pictured in February) has said his office will not be harassed as he considers filing criminal charges against the former president
The NYPD is preparing to mobilize its “Strategic Response Group,” consisting of 700 members trained in “disaster management,” to confront protesters
Sources have told before Fox news that the Secret Service will “take charge” of what they will and will not allow as part of the arrest.
“Some sources familiar with the schedule said they will be discussing security preparations in and around the lower Manhattan courthouse,” Fox Corp. anchor John Roberts told viewers.
The Secret Service will take the lead in what they will or won’t allow, the source warned, noting, for example, that the decision to face the president, former president or not, will set the tone and escort him in. the courtroom.’
Under normal protocol, a defendant would be taken to a New York City courthouse and placed in a processing room.
They would then be briefly put in a prison cell, booked, fingerprinted, photographed for a mugshot, and handcuffed.
From there they would be escorted – still handcuffed – to a courtroom, in full view of the media.
However, Trump is in a very unique position as a former US president, meaning he is protected by the Secret Service at all times.
It is not yet clear whether he will be escorted to court by court security personnel or his Secret Service agents.
If indicted, Trump would become the first former US president to face criminal charges.