Trump reportedly “caught off guard” by 34-count indictment — melts down all night on Truth Social

Former President Donald Trump will be charged with more than 30 counts of falsifying business records after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict him on Thursday, according to CNN.

The felony indictment, which remains under seal until Trump is arraigned as early as next Tuesday, includes 34 counts of falsifying business records, CNN reported, though the details of the charges remain unclear.

Despite predicting that he would be “arrested” in New York earlier this month, Trump and his aides were “caught off guard” by the news, according to Maggie Haberman of the New York Times.

Some of Trump’s advisers were “confident” that there would be no movement from the grand jury until the end of April at the earliest after news reports earlier this week revealed the panel planned to go on a weeks-long pre-scheduled hiatus, according to the report.

Trump ahead of the indictment had been joking about “golden handcuffs,” according to The Washington Post, but did not expect the news to land this week.

“It was a surprise to everybody,” former longtime Trump adviser David Urban told the Post, which added that some of Trump’s lawyers were preparing to take time off because they did not expect any movement for several weeks. Trump adviser Boris Ephsteyn even told the former president that he would not be indicted at all, according to the report.

Trump attorney Joe Tacopina acknowledged on Friday that Trump was initially “shocked.”

“After he got over that, he put a notch on his belt and he decided we have to fight now,” Tacopina told NBC’s “Today.” “He got into a typical Donald Trump posture where he’s ready to be combative on something that he believes is an injustice.”

Trump attempted to convey a calm demeanor by attending a “very public dinner with his wife, Melania, and her parents at the club at Mar-a-Lago,” according to Haberman. But a Trump adviser told the Post that the former president was “irritated” and “deflated” on Thursday.

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That was evident on Truth Social, where Trump posted and shared more than 45 “truths” since the indictment news broke.

“These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED [sic] the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President,” he wrote. “THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE. IT IS LIKEWISE A CONTINUING ATTACK ON OUR ONCE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!”

“They only brought this Fake, Corrupt, and Disgraceful Charge against me because I stand with the American People, and they know that I cannot get a fair trial in New York!” Trump wrote two hours later.

“These Corrupt Democrat Prosecutors, all from poorly run and very dangerous Democrat run cities, are not going to choose the Republican Nominee, or the next President of the United States!” he later wrote.

“WHERE’S HUNTER?” Trump demanded in a 3 am post aimed at President Joe Biden’s son.

Trump in a statement posted to the platform repeated his widely debunked lies that the 2020 election was stolen from him and alleged that the indictment amounts to “blatant Election Interference.”

“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done before,” Trump said, claiming that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was “hand-picked and funded by George Soros,” a billionaire Democratic donor and frequent target of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” Trump continued. “The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here.”

Haberman during an appearance on CNN predicted that Trump would “try to use the weekend to sway public opinion as much as possible.”

“That’s his go-to move… to try to shape public opinion and use that to try to force events,” she said. “He was trying it with what was essentially an intimidation campaign against Alvin Bragg in the last two weeks. Clearly, it did not work.”

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