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Donald Trump's Indictment, formerly known as Donald Trump's Rumored Arrest, refers to the 2023 indictment of Former U.S. President Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office (DA) in New York City based on him allegedly paying $130,000 in hush money to pornstar Stormy Daniels in 2016, along with 30 or more counts. In mid-March 2023, Trump posted to Truth Social about his possible indictment, stating that he'd be arrested on that coming Tuesday (March 21st). He centered his outrage on then-acting DA Alvin Bragg, calling for his supporters to protest his arrest, which caused worry among NYC police, news outlets and social media users over a possible January 6th Insurrection type of incident. His post sparked viral discourse across social media sites like Twitter in anticipation of the date and the case's details. By 4 p.m. EST on the day of his rumored arrest, no arrest had occurred, however, AI art of Trump getting arrested surfaced online that showed the former president running from police. On March 30th, 2023, the grand jury then voted for his indictment, leading to speculation and memes about his eventual arrest.
On March 18th, 2023, former President Donald Trump posted to Truth Social in all caps, writing many sentences about "RADICAL LEFT ANARCHISTS" and ending with an ellipsis (…) that continued into a second post. The first post gained roughly 81,100 likes in two days. Trump's second Truth Social post alleged that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office was going to arrest him on Tuesday, March 21st, 2023. Trump urged the post's viewers to "PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!" Over the course of two days, it received roughly 85,400 likes (shown below).
Page 2: NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE, WHICH HAS ALLOWED NEW RECORDS TO BE SET IN VIOLENT CRIME & WHOSE LEADER IS FUNDED BY GEORGE SOROS, INDICATE THAT, WITH NO CRIME BEING ABLE TO BE PROVEN, & BASED ON AN OLD & FULLY DEBUNKED (BY NUMEROUS OTHER PROSECUTORS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!
After Trump's post on March 18th, 2023, multiple news outlets started to cover the developing story, such as the New York Post and AP News. The outlets stated that Trump's possible indictment was regarding Trump allegedly paying over $130,000 in hush money to pornstar Stormy Daniels in 2016. Trump’s former attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, gave a quote to The Post on March 18th, reading:
"Donald would have no reason to put out the statement unless he has been contacted by the DANY and advised accordingly… Donald’s post is eerily similar to his battle cry prior to the January 6th insurrection; including calling for protest. By doing so, Donald is hoping to rile his base, witness another violent clash on his behalf and profit from it by soliciting contributions."
Also on March 18th, former Vice President Mike Pence spoke to Breitbart  in an article published that same day in which he stated, "It reeks of the kind of political prosecution that we endured back in the days of the Russia hoax and the whole impeachment over a phone call." Other conservative politicians reacted on social media such as Marjorie Taylor Greene and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Twitter (shown below).
Various reactions from social media users surfaced on Twitter and elsewhere, following a tweet sent by the New York Post on March 18th, 2023, that received roughly 1,300 likes in two days. Additionally, a tweet posted by RapTV gained roughly 28,700 likes in two days. RapTV also posted to its Instagram about the news, gaining roughly 410,500 likes in two days. Similar posts went viral on Instagram on March 18th, also surfacing on Facebook and Reddit as well.
Humorous tweets and memes surfaced soon after Trump's possible arrest was reported. For instance, on March 18th, Twitter user @upblissed posted a QT reading, "once that donald trump mugshot hits the TL it’s fuckin over," earning roughly 180,300 likes in two days (shown below, left). Also that day, Twitter user @JUNlPER tweeted a joke about Trump running around Mar-a-Lago like a scene from Scooby-Doo, gaining roughly 29,500 likes in two days (shown below, right).
Elon Musk Says Trump Will Win "Landslide Victory" If Indicted
At approximately 7:21 a.m. EST on March 18th, 2023, Elon Musk posted a reply to Twitter that read, "If this happens, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory." The reply gained roughly 250,500 likes in two days (shown below). Soon after, the New York Post sent a tweet about Musk's prediction, gaining roughly 39,000 likes in two days.
New York City Protests
On March 20th, 2023, a video surfaced on Twitter showing NYPD's riot police setting up steel barricades outside of the Manhattan Criminal Court. The video gained roughly 1 million views in one hour (shown below).
— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 20, 2023
Also, another video spread on Twitter on March 20th that purportedly showed many Trump-supporting protestors in Manhattan. However, the video was not originally uploaded in March 2023. Instead, it was posted three months earlier (December 2022) to TikTok by the user @troysessions847.
Bomb Threat Called On NY Court
At around 12:26 p.m. EST on March 21st, 2023, Bloomberg reported that a bomb threat was called on the NY court where Trump's hearing was supposed to start (the courthouse at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan). The threat was called via a 911 call. The threat postponed the hearing, and Trump's possible arrest, to Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023.
Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023
On March 22nd, 2023, the grand jury did not fully meet once again. The New York Times stated, "There was no indication as to why the grand jury did not meet on Wednesday, but the panel is not required to convene all three days each week, and scheduling conflicts and other interruptions are not unusual."
On March 30th, 2023, it was reported by the New York Times, among other publications, that a grand jury in Manhattan voted to officially indict Donald Trump in connection with his alleged payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016. This officially made Donald Trump the first United States President to face an indictment.
Trump's Response on Truth Social
Soon after his indictment was publicized, Trump posted twice to his Truth Social account, leading with a long-form statement that was attached and earning roughly 50,800 likes in less than a day. His secondary post further condemned the indictment, calling the grand jury "Thugs and Radical Left Monsters," as well as including the typo "INDICATED." The post gained roughly 36,600 likes in less than a day (shown below).
The announcement of Trump's indictment sparked a significant amount of viral discourse online as people on all sides of the political spectrum talked about the implications of a court trial or settlement before it went that far. For instance, one of the first reactions was uploaded by Twitter user @Esqueer_ on March 30th, 2023, whose tweet that seemed to celebrate the indictment gained roughly 11,000 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Memes expressing similar, celebratory remarks quickly surfaced, like one posted to /r/AdviceAnimals from Redditor memes-to-an-end that used Bad Luck Brian and reiterated that Trump had finally won the popular vote, gaining roughly 32,500 upvotes in less than a day (shown below, right).
While many celebrated Trump's indictment, others protested it with tweets, memes and posts. For instance, on March 30th, 2023, Instagram user @grandoldmemes posted a meme that labeled the grand jury as clowns dressed as Ronald McDonald, earning roughly 3,300 likes in less than a day (shown below, left). Others reiterated Elon Musk's belief that the indictment guaranteed Turmp's victory in the 2024 election, such as in a tweet from Twitter user @catturd2 that received roughly 55,300 likes in less than a day (shown below, right).
On April 3rd, 2023, Trump flew via private jet from Mar-a-Lago, FL, to Laguardia Airport in New York, New York, going in between places by motorcade in both Florida and Manhattan. The trip was enacted for Trump to turn himself in on April 4th for the 30-plus charges that he faced in the Manhattan court. On April 3rd, multiple videos taken from helicopters surfaced online showing Trump's motorcades and his private jet taking off and landing. One such video was posted by the Twitter account of CNN Breaking News and gained over 3.4 million views in less than a day (shown below).
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 3, 2023
On April 4th, 2023, Trump appeared in the Manhattan court to hear his charges which were 34 counts against him with a maximum of 136 years if convicted. Trump pleaded not guilty to all the counts which ranged from his alleged hush money payment to Stormy Daniels to falsified business records and broken election laws that he allegedly did to cover up the payment.
Multiple images of Trump shown going to the courtroom, sitting in the courtroom and leaving the courtroom went viral across social media, taken by notable photography agencies like AP Photo and Getty (shown below).
Trump Getting Arrested AI Art refers to multiple AI-generated images of Donald Trump getting arrested and running away from police in New York City. The images were inspired by Trump's rumored March 2023 arrest and were used by meme creators on Twitter on the day of his supposed arrest (March 21st, 2023). News outlets started debunking the AI art as many internet users satirically spread the misinformation, claiming that they were real photographs.
 New York Times – Grand Jury Hearing Trump Evidence Did Not Meet Wednesday
 NBC New York – Trump Arrives in Manhattan to Face Criminal Charges