Sun | May 28, 2023

Trump waits out grand jury as New York braces for protests

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2023 | 5:54 PM
Barricades are unloaded from a truck near the courts in New York, Monday, March 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — Facing the possibility of criminal charges, Donald Trump waited it out in Florida on Tuesday as New York braced for disruptions that could follow an indictment.

Republican contenders in the 2024 race sized up the impact a prosecution could have on a campaign in which the former president is a leading contender.

Trump over the weekend claimed without evidence that he would be arrested on Tuesday, but there was no indication that prediction would come true.

A Manhattan grand jury did appear to take an important step forward on Monday by hearing from a witness favourable to Trump, presumably so prosecutors could ensure the panel had a chance to consider any testimony supporting his version of events.

The next steps were unclear, and it was uncertain if additional witnesses might be summoned. But a city mindful of the riot by Trump loyalists at the US Capitol more than two years ago took steps to protect itself from any violence that could accompany the unprecedented prosecution of a former president.

New York officials have been monitoring online chatter of threats of varying specificity, but even as portable metal barricades were dropped off to safeguard streets and sidewalks, there were no immediate signs that Trump's calls for protests were being heeded.

On Tuesday morning, Manhattan court proceedings were temporarily halted by a bomb threat called in via 911, according to a court spokesman. That delayed the start of a hearing in a separate case, the New York attorney general's lawsuit accusing Trump and his company of a yearslong fraud scheme.

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