Three people close to Mr Trump said the former president’s team had no specific knowledge of when charges might be filed or when an arrest could be expected. One of those people, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that the best guess from Mr. Trump’s advisers was that it could happen around Tuesday and that someone may have told him that, but they did too made it clear to each other that they did not know a specific time frame.
Mr Trump, who faced his first criminal investigation in the late 1970s, was deeply concerned at the prospect of an arrest, which is likely to include fingerprinting, said one of those close to him. When the Trump Organization’s former chief financial officer, Allen H. Weisselberg, was arrested in 2021, Mr Trump watched in horror as television coverage showed Mr Weisselberg flanked by officers in the courthouse and said he could not believe what is done to him shall him.
The call for protests echoed Mr Trump’s call for his supporters in the closing days of his presidency to join him at a rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, the day President Biden’s victory will be confirmed by a congressional approval should the electoral college vote. At that rally in the Ellipse near the White House, Mr Trump urged supporters to march to the Capitol where the certification was taking place.
Mr. Trump’s post urging his supporters to “PROTEST, TAKE BACK OUR NATION!” bore unmistakable echoes of the inflammatory messages he posted online in the weeks leading up to the Capitol attack. In the most infamous of these messages, he announced on Twitter that he would be holding a rally in Washington on January 6, 2021. “Be there,” he told his millions of followers, “it’s going to be wild.”
Investigators later found that both far-right groups and ordinary Trump supporters read this tweet — posted December 19, 2020 — as a clear invitation and took action almost immediately, buying protective equipment, setting up encrypted communication channels and, in one case, preparing heavily armed “rapid reaction forces” to be stationed outside of Washington for the event.
Maggie Haberman, Alan Feuer, Jonah E. Bromwich and Ben Protess