NYPD receives unfounded bomb threats as city gears up ahead of possible Trump indictment

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Trump supporters protest on Long Island ahead of possible indictment
Chantee Lans has more on how protesters on both sides of the aisle are making their voices heard ahead of former President Trump's possible indictment.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York braced for disruptions on Tuesday that could follow a possible indictment of Donald Trump as he faces the possibility of criminal charges.

As the NYPD prepared for potential unrest, the department and other NYC agencies received numerous bomb threats in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday morning -- and not just at the courthouses. All were determined to be unfounded.

Demonstrators from both sides of the aisle gathered outside the courthouse and at Trump Tower on Tuesday. Intelligence bulletins obtained by ABC News warn of a significant increase in threats and general violent rhetoric.

They say some of Trump's biggest supporters are still willing to fight on his behalf.

Trump over the weekend claimed without evidence that he would be arrested on Tuesday, but there was no indication that prediction would come true. A Manhattan grand jury did appear to take an important step forward on Monday by hearing from a witness favorable to Trump, presumably so prosecutors could ensure the panel had a chance to consider any testimony supporting his version of events.

The next steps were unclear, and it was uncertain if additional witnesses might be summoned. But a city mindful of the riot by Trump loyalists at the U.S. Capitol more than two years ago took steps to protect itself from any violence that could accompany the unprecedented prosecution of a former president.

RELATED | In Trump case, New York grand jury appears near end of its work

New York officials have been monitoring online chatter of threats of varying specificity, but even as portable metal barricades were dropped off to safeguard streets and sidewalks, there were no immediate signs that Trump's calls for protests were being heeded.

About 15 people stood outside the Centre Street courthouse Tuesday morning calling for Trump's indictment, while a handful of his supporters gathered Monday in Midtown.

Trump supporters took to the streets on Long Island in Seaford as a caravan protested the investigation.

On Tuesday morning, Manhattan court proceedings were temporarily halted by a bomb threat called in via 911, according to a court spokesman. That delayed the start of a hearing in a separate case, the New York attorney general's lawsuit accusing Trump and his company of a yearslong fraud scheme.

A new NYPD statement is reminding protesters they cannot bring guns to demonstrations under the New York State gun laws:

"The NYPD continues to work with our federal, state and local partners to keep New Yorkers safe. While you will see an increased uniformed presence throughout the five boroughs, there are currently no credible threats to New York City. The department remains ready and available to respond to protest and counter protests and will ensure everyone is able to peacefully exercise their first amendment rights. We will never tolerate violence or property damage. As a general reminder, firearm permit holders may not carry firearms at First Amendment gatherings, courthouses, government buildings, and other legally-designated sensitive locations, as this is unlawful under New York State Law, except for certain law enforcement personnel. There are millions of sets of eyes and ears in New York City. If you see something, say something by calling 9-1-1 or 1-888-NYC-SAFE."

The grandy jury is not scheduled to return until Wednesday, but the NYPD is still coordinating with the Secret Service to stay ahead of any potential threats.

As the New York investigation pushes toward conclusion, Trump faces other criminal probes in Atlanta and Washington that, taken together, pose significant legal peril and carry the prospect of upending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

(The Associated press contributed to this report.)


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