New York City Mayor Eric Adams addressed Donald Trump supporters directly Monday, saying city authorities would not hesitate to arrest and charge anyone who breaks the law in protest over the former president's upcoming arraignment on state charges.
Trump was heading to New York on Monday and was due to surrender to prosecutors in Manhattan on Tuesday. He is the first former US president to face criminal charges, after his indictment in a grand jury probe over hush money paid to a porn star.
The Republican, who is running for president again in 2024, has called the probe a witch hunt, and has urged his supporters to take to the streets. After he falsely claimed he won the last presidential election, his supporters stormed the US Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, in a deadly riot.
Adams warned Trump supporters against turning to violence on Tuesday, saying the city was "not a playground for ... misplaced anger."
"Although we have no specific threats, people like Marjorie Taylor Greene - who is known to spread misinformation and hate speech - has stated she's coming to town. While you're in town, be on your best behavior," said the Democratic mayor.
A spokesperson for Greene could not immediately be reached for comment. The Republican US congresswoman from Georgia said on Twitter on Sunday that her protest would be lawful and that she rejects anyone who incites or commits violence. Greene said she would lead a pro-Trump protest at a park near the Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday.
No credible threats, increased police presence
The mayor said the New York City Police Department had not received any credible threats around the indictment but would heighten security on public transit and increase police presence around the Manhattan courthouse where Trump will be arraigned in anticipation of possible unrest.
Roads would be closed around the city on Tuesday, the mayor said. A court official said courtrooms on higher floors of the courthouse will be closed shortly before Trump's expected 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT) arraignment.
Before voting to indict Trump, a grand jury heard evidence about a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
The actress has said she was paid to keep silent about a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006. Trump denies he had a sexual encounter with her