Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen said on Saturday that former President Trump’s calls for a protest against the Manhattan district attorney’s probe signals a desire for “another violent clash” on his behalf.
“It’s eerily similar to the battle cry that he put out just prior to the January 6th insurrection, you know, especially including the call, you know, for protest,” Cohen said in an interview with MSNBC. “And I agree … it would have been smart for Donald to write ‘peaceful protest,’ but he doesn’t want a peaceful protest.”
Trump said in a post on Truth Social earlier in the day that he expects to be arrested next week as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
The former president claimed that “illegal leaks” indicate that “the far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America, will be arrested on Tuesday of next week” and called for his supporters to protest and “take our nation back.”
Cohen, who testified before the New York grand jury earlier this week, made a $130,000 payment to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election to buy her silence about an alleged affair with Trump.
The former president’s longtime fixer pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating campaign finance laws in connection with the hush-money payment.
Cohen told MSNBC on Saturday that Trump or his team was likely contacted by the district attorney’s office, rather than gaining the information via “leaks” as the former president suggested in his post.
“Knowing Donald the way that I do, I don’t see a reason that Donald would have put out the statement unless he has, or his team, has been contacted by the district attorney’s office and advised accordingly,” Cohen said.
“This is exactly him reacting to information that he has and not leaks, as he would like to say, by the district attorney’s office,” he added. “There is no leaks coming out of the DA’s office, that I can tell you for sure. This is all coming out of Trump camp.”
He also suggested that Trump’s calls for a protest likely stem from the belief that it could give his 2024 campaign a boost.
“These fools that are representing him, this clown show of lawyers, what they believe is that this will propel him into the White House by having another violent insurrection,” Cohen said.
“But more importantly for Donald, it’s all about the great grift,” he continued. “He will look to profit from this action by soliciting contributions in order to protect him, your favorite president from the racist Alvin Bragg and all of the, you know, left wingers.”
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This story was originally published March 18, 2023, 5:29 PM.