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NYPD preparing for possible indictment of former President Donald Trump in Manhattan DA investigation

NYPD gears up ahead of possible Donald Trump indictment
NYPD gears up ahead of possible Donald Trump indictment 03:26

NEW YORK -- The NYPD was on heightened alert Monday, planning for the possibility of demonstrations should a Manhattan grand jury decide to indict former President Donald Trump

If it happens, it would be historic: The first time a former president would be facing criminal charges. 

Among the precautions, NYPD officers unloaded barricades Monday morning around the criminal court building in Lower Manhattan to increase security because it is such a high-profile case. 

Even though Trump posted that he expected to be indicted Tuesday, there is no indication at this point that it will be, in fact "D-Day" -- Donald Trump indictment day.

Donald Trump says he'll be indicted Tuesday, but nobody knows for sure 02:37

CBS News has learned an indictment is not expected Tuesday, but could come later. Logistics are being worked out with the Secret Service, among others, for a Trump appearance, but Trump's lawyers said they are not negotiating anything right now. Ultimately, an arrest could include handcuffs, fingerprinting, and an arraignment in open court.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent an aide to a City Council budget hearing, suddenly canceling scheduled testimony as a grand jury he impaneled considers whether to make history and bring criminal charges against Trump. 

"Alvin Bragg became aggressive in 2023 about a case that we thought was long forgotten," said CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman. 

Klieman was talking about the potential indictment against Trump for allegedly falsifying business records to hide campaign finance violations tied to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels by one-time Trump fixer Michael Cohen

"The Southern District of New York, the federal government passed on going forward against Donald Trump," Klieman said. 

Cohen was a key witness against the former president, but on Monday the grand jury heard from a final witness that Trump's lawyers requested. Attorney Robert Costello tried to discredit Cohen.

"If they want to go after Donald Trump and they have solid evidence, but Michael Cohen is far from solid evidence," Costello said.

Cohen was reportedly on tap to rebut Costello.

Republicans have rallied around Trump.

"Some bookkeeping error from seven years ago, a misdemeanor is now what they're going after. So it makes absolutely no sense," Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 rival, also criticized the Bragg investigation, but in the meantime seemed to take a campaign shot at Trump.

"I don't know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I just can't speak to that," DeSantis said.

This as Trump, on his social media platform Truth Social, has been urging his supporters to protest and "take our nation back." The message has put New York City and federal law enforcement on high alert. 

"We're doing what we always do. We're monitoring comments on social media, and the NYPD is doing their normal role of making sure there's no inappropriate actions in the city," said Mayor Eric Adams

NYPD, feds fine-tuning security plans in wake of possible indictment of former President Trump 03:04

NYPD brass are holding Zoom meetings with the Secret Service, court officers and others who will be in charge of protecting the city if the former president is charged. 

Intelligence sources tell CBS News they are seeing a "significant increase" in threats and violent online rhetoric from domestic violence extremists, but sources say that after the Jan. 6 protests and the heavy sentences handed out to participants, it's unclear whether the chatter will result in any mayhem here. 

Sources tell CBS2 the Strategic Response Group, which handled the George Floyd protests, is on standby. The MTA and Port Authority have been made aware of the possibility of caravans of cars intent on rush hour traffic disruptions that could target bridges and tunnels. 

The NYPD threat assessment is multifaceted. One component is monitoring online chatter. 

"The intelligence division is going to look into possibly excessive airline trips into New York City from places where we had co-conspirators that were part of the Jan. 6 offensive," said security expert Darrin Porcher of Pace University, a former NYPD lieutenant. 

He says the NYPD will also study other ports of entry, bus and train terminals, and will make sure they have adequate manpower. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy says any potential demonstrations should be peaceful. 

"We want calmness out there. Nobody put violence or harm to anybody else," McCarthy said. 

Trump has been posting about the possibility of an indictment and attacking the DA for several days. He has also sent out numerous fundraising requests, hoping to use the issue to fill his campaign coffers. 

If Trump is charged, plans are being drawn up to let him enter the courthouse privately. 

It's unclear if after he is arraigned he will hold a press conference. 

NYPD stepping up security ahead of potential Trump protests 02:44

"If this indictment does come to fruition, we are all in unchartered territory," political strategist Basil Smikle told CBS2. "It's going to be really difficult to talk about or predict what comes next, because we have never in the history of the United States of America been in this situation."  

Cohen, Trump's former lawyer, claims he wrote the checks in coordination with and at the direction of Trump. But the Republican denies it ever occurred.     

"If you were going to take the unprecedented step to go and indict a former president, wouldn't we have rather seen it been about Jan. 6? Wouldn't we have rather seen that it was in Georgia about election interference? But we don't have the luxury of the rather," Kleiman said. 

"That was an attempt to get ahead of the story, to try to control the narrative about that, and also significantly, it was an attempt to raise money," political science professor Alain Sanders said. 

Sanders said the support Trump is getting from Republicans is just them playing politics.

"That's what Republicans are most concerned about. They would very much like Donald Trump to go away, but they understand that, politically, the MAGA wing of the party, which is a substantial wing, really determines primary elections in many states," said Sanders.

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