NYPD and FBI planning security for possible Trump indictment as former president calls for protests

Law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels are reportedly preparing for the possibility that former president Donald Trump may be indicted as early as next week in relation to the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

Preliminary security assessments are being conducted, and officials are discussing potential security plans in the vicinity of the Manhattan Criminal Court at 100 Centre Street in case Mr Trump appears in person to face charges, according to NBC News, citing five senior officials familiar with the preparations.

The former president has urged his supporters to “protest” his imminent “arrest” in the Manhattan case, he said in a furious Truth Social post on 18 March, claiming that “illegal leaks” have indicated his arrest on 21 March.

New York City Police Department, New York State Court Officers, the US Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office are reportedly all involved.

Officials have stressed that any planning is precautionary as no charges have been filed yet by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, according to NBC News.

While Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the New York investigation on his Truth Social platform, a lengthy official statement from his team suggests that he is growing increasingly concerned that a criminal indictment may be just around the corner.

Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung released a statement on 16 March slamming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office over what they claim is a “witch hunt” against the one-term president.

“President Donald J Trump is completely innocent, he did nothing wrong, and even the biggest, most Radical Left Democrats are making that clear,” Mr Cheung said.

This week – the same week that adult film star Ms Daniels and Mr Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen testified before the grand jury – Mr Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina went on a media blitz slamming the probe in a number of testy exchanges with journalists.

DA Bragg’s office also invited Mr Trump to testify this week – an invitation he unsurprisingly turned down.

While it was an invitation he was unlikely to accept, it sent the clearest signal to date that he could be criminally indicted for his role in the hush money payments to Ms Daniels.

Under New York law, a person has a right to appear before a grand jury before a prosecutor asks the grand jury to indict them on charges.

Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating whether Mr Trump falsified the Trump Organization’s business records when Mr Cohen made a payment of $130,0000 to Ms Daniels days before the 2016 election.

Prosecutors claim that the money was used to silence Ms Daniels about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.

Mr Trump has long denied having an affair with the adult film star.

If prosecuted, Mr Trump would become the first former president in American history to face criminal charges.