By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Former US President Donald Trump raised the specter Friday of potential "death & destruction" if he is indicted in New York City on charges related to a hush money payment made to an adult film star.
The early morning post on his Truth Social website came after the ex-president said over the weekend that he expected to be arrested in connection with the matter on Tuesday. But that day came and went without any action from law enforcement as security has been markedly increased in the US financial capital where legal proceedings are continuing.
"What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a Crime, when it is known by all that NO Crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?" Trump wrote on his social media website.
"Why & who would do such a thing? Only a degenerate psychopath that truly hates the USA!" he said in the post, which was made after 1 a.m. Eastern Time (0500GMT).
Trump has long assailed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, calling the Black prosecutor an "animal" on Thursday, in an attempt to discredit any legal action that may come from him, and has warned of potential political unrest from his supporters if he is indicted.
The grand jury considering whether or not it will indict Trump is not expected to meet again until Monday, according to multiple media reports.
During Saturday's post in which he said he would be arrested this week, Trump called on his loyalists to protest in order to "take our country back." The charges echo those the ex-president made that drew his supporters to the nation's capital on Jan. 6, 2021 when the Capitol was overrun and occupied for the first time since the War of 1812.
The $130,000 payment was made to Stormy Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, by then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence on an alleged sexual encounter with the real estate developer in 2006.