Former President Donald Trump‘s social media statements about his possible impending arrest might become evidence against him in future criminal trials, according to legal analyst Glenn Kirschner.
On Friday night, Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, claiming to have heard that he will be arrested on Tuesday in connection with the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into him. District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe has reportedly been approaching a criminal indictment against the former president for a hush-money scheme he allegedly orchestrated in 2016, with his office inviting the former president to testify before a grand jury and reportedly touching base with law enforcement agencies about what a Trump arrest might lead to.
In his posts, Trump decried Bragg’s office as “CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL,” and encouraged his supporters to “PROTEST” and “TAKE OUR NATION BACK” in the event of his arrest on Tuesday.
Kirschner, a former federal prosecutor with a career spanning 30 years who is now known for his analysis of Trump’s various legal battles, appeared on MSNBC shortly after the former president made the social media posts to discuss the situation. Kirschner, an outspoken critic of Trump, accused the posts of encouraging violence, in a similar vein to his rhetoric in the lead-up to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, and suggested that they could become further evidence against him in the future.
Former President Donald Trump attends CPAC on March 4. Legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said that Trump’s recent comments calling for protests in the event of his arrest could be used as future evidence against him. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
“I would slap a government exhibits sticker on this post and I would introduce it at his criminal trial,” Kirschner told host Katie Phang. “And this is a dark moment in our nation’s history. Because what we have just seen is basically, ‘come to D.C. on January 6th. Will be wild 2.0.’ And I am sorry to say that for months I have been saying on air and online, that the moment Donald Trump knows he’s been indicted, his first post will be ‘come to Manhattan’ or ‘come to Georgia for my arraignment—will be wild.'”
In an email statement to Newsweek, Trump’s communications team downplayed the notion that there has been any official notification of his impending arrest, while also decrying the investigation’s legitimacy and asserting the Trump will be in Texas next weekend for a rally.
“There has been no notification, other than illegal leaks from the Justice Dept. and the DA’s office, to NBC and other fake news carriers, that the George Soros-funded Radical Left Democrat prosecutor in Manhattan has decided to take his Witch-Hunt to the next level,” a Trump spokesperson told Newsweek. “President Trump is rightfully highlighting his innocence and the weaponization of our injustice system. He will be in Texas next weekend for a giant rally.”
The charges Trump potentially faces in Manhattan come after allegations that he orchestrated a plan to pay “hush money” to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her keeping quiet about an affair between them. Trump and his representatives have in the past variously claimed that there was no affair and that the former president had been extorted, and that the payment was made to avoid personal embarrassment and not out of any concern for its impact on his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, previously pleaded guilty to his involvement in the scheme and served prison time for it. He claimed to have acted at the behest of Trump himself.
Meanwhile, Trump has previously claimed that he will continue his 2024 presidential campaign even in the event that he is criminally indicted. Only a conviction on charges related to treason or insurrection would legally bar him from holding elected office.
Updated, 03/18/2023, 6:50 p.m. ET: Added comment from Trump spokesperson.