Manhattan grand jury indictment took Trump team by surprise at Mar-a-Lago

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Manhattan grand jury indictment took Trump team by surprise at Mar-a-Lago

When news broke that a grand jury in Manhattan had voted to indict former President Donald Trump his team was ready with a massive messaging campaign.

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When news broke that a grand jury in Manhattan had voted to indict former President Donald Trump his team was ready with a massive messaging campaign.

Within minutes a fundraising committee was sending out the first statement of condemnation.

And sons Don Jr and Eric were livecasting, tweeting and telephoning friendly sources in the media.

A fundraising blast followed shortly after, as his campaign looked to cash in on anger that for the first time in history a former president was to be arrested and charged. 

‘We had a plan in place and the plan was executed,’ said a source familiar with the planning. ‘Getting surrogates out, getting content out.

‘If you look at our war room and team Trump twitter accounts they are all pushing relevant content.’

On Saturday evening, former President Donald Trump told reporters on his plane that he thought the case against him was being dropped by the Manhattan district attorney

On Saturday evening, former President Donald Trump told reporters on his plane that he thought the case against him was being dropped by the Manhattan district attorney

On Saturday evening, former President Donald Trump told reporters on his plane that he thought the case against him was being dropped by the Manhattan district attorney

When news of the indictment broke, Trump's team had a messaging plan ready to go

When news of the indictment broke, Trump's team had a messaging plan ready to go

When news of the indictment broke, Trump’s team had a messaging plan ready to go

However, not everything was quite as expected. Insiders admitted they were taken by surprise.

Trump’s lawyer told Fox News that they found out about the indictment from the New York Times.

‘We are always the last to know … always,’ said Joseph Tacopina. ‘The New York Times told us today he was indicted and we got confirmation from the DA’s office.’

Last week the grand jury probing alleged business fraud linked to a $130,000 hush money payment to adult movie star Stormy Daniels appeared to be stalling.

This week it emerged that it was not going to sit for a month, prompting Trump allies to say the Manhattan district attorney was preparing to quietly shelve the case.

Trump himself claimed as much on Saturday evening.

‘I think they’ve already dropped the case. From what I understand … I think it’s been dropped,’ he told a small group of reporters aboard his private jet, including DailyMail.com, as he flew back from a rally in Waco, Texas.

‘But I believe that if anything ever happened with the case, it’s a fake case.’

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his office in Manhattan, New York, after a grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump. March 30 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his office in Manhattan, New York, after a grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump. March 30 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg leaves his office in Manhattan, New York, after a grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump. March 30 2023

Former President Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump

Stormy Daniels, 44, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford

Stormy Daniels, 44, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford

A grand jury has been hearing evidence about allegations that Donald Trump paid $130,000 to adult movie star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence over their affair

He cut a relaxed figure and scoffed at any idea that he was frustrated or distracted by any legal woes.

And he continued his normal routine at Mar-a-Lago, playing golf on Wednesday at his club about a 15-minute drive away.

He returned on Thursday, although he only managed nine holes. The 76-year-old did not stay for lunch even though his usual table was reserved.

Instead he returned to Mar-a-Lago where he spent the afternoon absorbing the bombshell news that he would have to travel to New York to face arrest.

He has told aides that he wanted to be treated like any other defendant and turned down suggestions that he might be able to get special treatment, saying that he was innocent and had nothing to fear from the justice system.

As details of the indictment emerged, his response went into effect.

As well as his emailed statement, Trump used Truth Social to condemn the indictment

As well as his emailed statement, Trump used Truth Social to condemn the indictment

As well as his emailed statement, Trump used Truth Social to condemn the indictment

His allied political action committee was quick to act.  

‘This is not an indictment of a crime—there was no crime—instead, this news is the indictment of a failed nation,’ said Taylor Budowich, chief executive of Make America Great Again Inc, in an emailed statement.

He said Trump was being punished for putting America first.

‘For that, the political elites and powerbrokers have weaponized government to try and stop him. They will fail. He will be re-elected in the greatest landslide in American history, and together we will all Make America Great Again.’

The idea of a looming landslide was repeated in a statement from Trump that followed soon after.

Meanwhile, Don Jr ditched his recorded podcast to go live with his outrage on the Rumble platform.

‘Let’s be clear, folks. This is like communist level s***,’ he said. This is stuff that would make Mao Stalin Pol Pot. It would make them blush. 

‘It’s so flagrant. It’s so crazed when even like the radical leftists of The Washington Post are out there saying it’s not really based on facts.’

Don Jr slammed the federal government on Rumble's 'Triggered with Donald Trump Jr' calling his father's indictment 'communist level s***' on Thursday afternoon

Don Jr slammed the federal government on Rumble's 'Triggered with Donald Trump Jr' calling his father's indictment 'communist level s***' on Thursday afternoon

Don Jr slammed the federal government on Rumble’s ‘Triggered with Donald Trump Jr’ calling his father’s indictment ‘communist level s***’ on Thursday afternoon

Trump played nine holes of golf at his West Palm Beach club on Thursday. His aides reportedly said his upbeat mood recently was a 'mask' for the 'deep anxiety' he felt surrounding Bragg's probe

Trump played nine holes of golf at his West Palm Beach club on Thursday. His aides reportedly said his upbeat mood recently was a 'mask' for the 'deep anxiety' he felt surrounding Bragg's probe

Trump played nine holes of golf at his West Palm Beach club on Thursday. He is pictured here a day earlier with Natalie Harp, who helps run his Truth Social media account

Surrogates, public supporters of Trump, also began appearing on television and sending their own statements. 

Kari Lake, who rose to prominence last year as one of the loudest voices claiming election fraud as she ran for governor of Arizona, said: ‘This is a dark moment in the history of our nation. 

‘As the radical left and their weaponized criminal justice system have crossed all legal and ethical lines in an attempt to destroy the 45th and likely 47th President of the United State of America Donald J. Trump.’

In the three days after Trump announced he was expecting to be indicted two weeks ago his campaign raised more than $1.5 million. And on Thursday it fired out more fundraising emails. 

‘The Deep State will use anything at their disposal to shut down the one political movement that puts YOU first,’ said one.

‘But I promise you this: This Witch Hunt will BACKFIRE MASSIVELY on Joe Biden.

‘With your support, we will write the next great chapter of American history – and 2024 will forever go down as the year we saved our Republic.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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