Ring of steel around US landmarks as nation on tenterhooks ahead of Donald Trump ‘arrest’

22 March 2023, 12:17 | Updated: 22 March 2023, 15:02

US authorities are preparing for civil unrest in the event of Trump's arrest.
US authorities are preparing for civil unrest in the event of Trump's arrest. Picture: Chip Somodevilla via Getty/ Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

Police are preparing for potential unrest in US cities and have ramped up their presence outside a NY courthouse and the D.C Capitol over the Stormy Daniels hush money scandal.

Authorities across US major cities have begun preparations for the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump as part of the hush-money inquiry.

Steel barricades were set up around the Manhattan prosecutor's office and Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday, and all police have been placed on standby in the interim.

US Capitol Police, who protect politicians in D.C., have also erected bike rack fencing around the Capitol complex.

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Capitol police on bicycles outside the US Capitol on March 21.
Capitol police on bicycles outside the US Capitol on March 21. Picture: Win McNamee via Getty images

A congressional source told CBS that Capitol Police are also planning to make an emergency declaration today, which would increase their co-ordination with other law enforcements should an arrest take place.

New York county district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is investigating the ex-president over an alleged hush money payment he made to former porn star, Stormy Daniels, to keep an affair between the two quiet.

Trump was invited to testify in early March, which led many to believe the jury is wrapping up the final stages of the case and its decision on whether to press charges.

A handful of Trump supporters have gathered outside Trump tower and Manhattan Court.
A handful of Trump supporters have gathered outside Trump tower and Manhattan Court. Picture: Anadolu Agency via Getty images

Trump has been vocal on social media about his expectations of an arrest and has repeatedly encouraged his supporters to protest if and when it happens.

Since Trump announced he was expecting to be arrested, US intelligence officials said there has been an increase in the number of threats being made to legal and government officials.

In a video posted to his social media platform, Truth Social, on Monday night the former US president said: "Our enemies are desperate to stop us because they know that we are the only ones who can stop them."

Many online compared the rhetoric in the video to that used before the capitol riots of January 2021.

Demonstrators and media staff have gathered near Manhattan Court over possible Trump indictment.
Demonstrators and media staff have gathered near Manhattan Court over possible Trump indictment. Picture: Scott Olson via Getty

At present, there are a handful of demonstrators but large number of media staff in the surrounding areas of Manhattan courthouse.

If Trump is indicted, it will be the first ever criminal case made against a former US president.

The ex-president has said he will still run for the 2024 election, even if he is charged in the coming days.

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