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Trump says his arrest is imminent and, echoing January 6, calls for protests

Three people close to Trump said the former president’s team had no specific knowledge of when an indictment might be filed or when an arrest might be anticipated. One of those people, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said Trump aides’ best guess was that it could happen around Tuesday, and that they had passed it on to him, but they had also made it clear to each other that they did not know a specific time frame.

Trump, who faced his first criminal investigation in the late 1970s, has been deeply anxious about the prospect of arrest, which is expected to include fingerprinting, one of those close to him said. When former Trump Organization CFO Allen H. Weisselberg was arrested in 2021, Trump watched in horror as television coverage showed Weisselberg flanked by officers in court and said he couldn’t believe what was being done to a he.

The call for protests echoed Mr. Trump’s call for his supporters, in the final days of his presidency, to join him at a rally in Washington on January 6, 2021, the day the president’s victory Biden would be certified by a congressional approval of the electoral college votes. At that rally, at the Ellipse near the White House, Trump told his 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!” it carried unmistakable echoes of the inflammatory messages he posted online in the weeks leading up to the attack on the Capitol. In the most notorious of those messages, he announced on Twitter that he would hold a rally in Washington on January 6, 2021. “Being there,” he told his millions of followers, “will be wild.”

Investigators later determined that far-right extremist groups, as well as ordinary Trump supporters, read that tweet, posted on December 19, 2020, as a clear invitation and almost immediately sprang into action, purchasing protective gear, establishing encrypted communication channels and, in one case, preparing heavily armed “rapid reaction forces” to be organized outside of Washington for the event.

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