Law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels are preparing for the possibility that former President Donald Trump may be indicted as early as next week in relation to the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, NBC News reports.
The network cites five senior officials familiar with the preparations.
Preliminary security assessments are being conducted, officials said, as well as discussions about potential security plans in the vicinity of the Manhattan Criminal Court at 100 Centre Street in case Mr Trump appears in person to face charges.
NYPD, New York State Court Officers, the US Secret Service, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office are all involved.
The officials stress that any planning is precautionary as no charges have been filed yet by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Mr Trump’s camp has launched a fierce attack on the prosecutors investigating the Stormy Daniels hush money payments in what could be a sign the former president’s camp is worried about a looming indictment.
Campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung released a statement on Thursday slamming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office over what they claim is a “witch hunt” against the one-term president.
“President Donald J. Trump is completely innocent, he did nothing wrong, and even the biggest, most Radical Left Democrats are making that clear,” said Mr Cheung.
While Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the New York investigation on his Truth Social platform, the lengthy official statement suggests that his camp is growing increasingly concerned that a criminal indictment may be just around the corner.
This week – the same week that adult film star Ms Daniels and Mr Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen testified before the grand jury – Mr Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina went on a media blitz slamming the probe in a number of testy exchanges with journalists.
DA Bragg’s office also invited Mr Trump to testify this week – an invitation he unsurprisingly turned down.
While it was an invitation he was unlikely to accept, it sent the clearest signal to date that he could be criminally indicted for his role in the hush money payments to Ms Daniels.
Under New York law, a person has a right to appear before a grand jury before a prosecutor asks the grand jury to indict them on charges.
Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating whether Mr Trump falsified the Trump Organization’s business records when Mr Cohen made a payment of $130,0000 to Ms Daniels days before the 2016 election.
Prosecutors claim that the money was used to silence Ms Daniels about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.
Mr Trump has long denied having an affair with the adult film star.
If prosecuted, Mr Trump would become the first former president in American history to face criminal charges.