New York City police began erecting barriers Monday morning around the courthouse in Manhattan where Donald Trump is expected to be arrested this week as the city braces for angry protests.
The former president announced over the weekend that he expects to be arrested this week as a grand jury prepares to hear from the latest witness in an investigation into hush money paid to a porn star.
So while Trump’s team spent the weekend preparing its strategy to handle the latest legal twist, police officials and the mayor’s top public safety officials gathered to discuss how to handle protests.
It comes amid online chatter suggesting armed protesters could be trying to prevent law enforcement from arresting Trump.
As a result, a ring of steel was built around the lower Manhattan courthouse where Trump was to be arraigned.
Michael Magliano, the chief of public safety for the courts, will meet with the NYPD and Secret Service on Monday afternoon at One Police Plaza to discuss security.
“It’s a big security operation because you don’t know how many people will be there,” a source told DailyMail.com. “We must be prepared for anything.”
New York Police Department personnel erect barricades around courthouse complex in Lower Manhattan awaiting the expected indictment of former President Donald Trump
Dennis Quirk, president of the New York State Court Officers, told DailyMail.com that officials should discuss how to safely get Trump and his lawyers to the courthouse given the likelihood of protesters gathering outside.
“We’re going to have to close off the street around the courthouse so no one puts a car with a bomb there,” he said. “How are you going to get Trump into the building, how are you going to get him into the building and court, how are you going to get him out safely?” “There will be protesters on the street,” he said.
He said Bragg exacerbated the problem by leaking last week that he met with the NYPD to discuss how to handle a potential indictment.
“By leaking this information, you have given these radicals time to mobilize,” he said.
He said it would be best now for a virtual hearing to process Trump.
“We believe this should be done virtually for everyone’s safety,” he said. “There’s no reason to have a big showdown here tomorrow or Wednesday if it happens.”
It follows Trump’s own call for protests, sparking fears his supporters could go on a rampage like January 6, 2021.
On Saturday, he announced on his Truth Social media platform that: “The by far leading Republican nominee and former President of the United States of America will be arrested next Tuesday.
“Protest, take our nation back!”
He continued to deliver a bitter stream of commentary over the weekend, railing against New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg.
It is believed Bragg’s office is nearing the end of its investigation into payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet about an affair with Trump — allegations he has long denied.
In an email to staff on Saturday, first reported by Politico, he sought to assure prosecutors and other members of his office that he was cooperating with police and court officials to ensure their safety.
“We will not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York,” he wrote. “Our law enforcement partners will ensure that any specific or credible threats against the office are fully investigated.”
At the same time, officials told the Associated Press that police were monitoring online comments about protests.
Barriers have been set up in front of the courthouse steps in Manhattan in preparation for the possible arrest of Donald Trump on Tuesday
New York City Police Department employees set up barricades outside the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in New York City on March 20, 2023
Trump posed for selfies with guests at his resort in Mar-a-Lago on Sunday during the Palm Event that showcased historic cars, including vintage cars and race cars
Trump dressed in navy suit with polo shirt and signature red MAGA cap as he mingled
They contain messages calling for armed protesters to prevent the former president from being arrested.
Trump tried to provide a sense of business as usual over the weekend.
On Saturday, he played in the senior championship at his golf club in Jupiter, Florida, before flying to Oklahoma to watch the NCAA Wrestling Championship.
On Sunday, he mingled with guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, for a historic car display.
Still, some guests suggested his relaxed demeanor was just for show.
“I don’t think he’s as happy with the charge as he makes it out to be,” said one.
Supporters have already begun to show up outside Trump Tower in New York and around his home in Mar-a-Lago in defense of the former president.
Trump used a social media post on Saturday to call on his supporters to protest as he claimed he would be arrested as early as Tuesday. Rescuers say they don’t know the timing
Two supporters of the former president are pictured here Friday at Trump Tower ahead of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade
The New York Young Republicans Club is holding a protest on Monday night. “Join us in peaceful protest against Alvin Bragg’s heinous attack on President Donald J. Trump…” it reads
According to social media reports, they are organizing a larger show of force outside Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday.
And the New York Young Republicans Club is holding a demonstration Monday night.
“Join our peaceful protest against Alvin Bragg’s horrific attack on President Donald J. Trump and the legitimacy of the American justice system,” reads an invitation to members and supporters.
While Republicans have supported the former president, some have suggested that his words calling for protest have been misinterpreted.
‘I don’t think people should be protesting this, no,” California Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy told reporters Sunday.
“I think, President Trump, when you talk to him, he doesn’t believe that either.”