- Donald Trump is holding his first official 2024 presidential campaign rally in Waco, Texas, amid speculation that he could soon be under indictment.
- The event coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Waco siege of 1993.
- Mary Trump has called on her social media followers to sign up for free tickets but not attend, to fill the venue with empty seats.
Former President Donald Trump heads to his first official 2024 presidential campaign rally in Waco, Texas amid ongoing speculation that he could soon be under indictment.
Trump predicted last weekend that he would be arrested on Tuesday as part of the Manhattan District Attorney’s probe into a $130,000 reimbursement paid to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen for a payment he made to adult film actor Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.
The Waco rally comes after a week that has seen no indictment or arrest, despite Trump’s own prediction, and the event will be the first major rally of his new presidential campaign.
The event is due to take place Saturday night at Waco Regional Airport in the state that Trump won in 2016 and 2020.
Trump’s team announced the Texas rally just one day before the former president announced that he expected to be arrested amid Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe and called for protests from his supporters.
However, the investigation in New York is not the only potential legal issue facing the former president as he positions himself as the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination.
Special Counsel Jack Smith is probing Trump’s actions relating to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, as well as his alleged mishandling of classified documents discovered at his Mar-a-Lago residence, while a grand jury in Georgia is examining whether or not Trump pushed for 2020 election results to be overturned there.
If Trump is convicted of a felony in New York, he could be sentenced to up to four years in prison – a possibility that has raised questions about whether he could mount a campaign from a prison cell.
Nonetheless, Trump has not been charged with any crime and he has denied having an affair with Daniels as well as any wrongdoing, while he’s also strongly criticized Bragg and the Manhattan D.A.’s investigation.
A package containing a suspicious white powder was found in Bragg’s office on Friday that reportedly contained the message “Alvin—I’ll kill you” and NYPD is investigating the matter.
That package was found after Trump warned of “death and destruction” if he’s criminally charged in New York.
Aside from ongoing investigations into his conduct, Trump’s decision to hold a rally in Waco has also raised some eyebrows as it coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Waco siege, which ended with the deaths of 86 people, including dozens of children.
The event could also be affected by Trump’s niece and frequent critic, Mary Trump, who called on her social media followers to sign up to get free tickets for the rally but not attend to “fill this venue with empty seats.”
“Donald has a rally in Waco this Saturday. It’s a ploy to remind his cult of the infamous Waco siege of 1993, where an anti-government cult battled the FBI. Scores of people died. He wants the same violent chaos to rescue him from justice,” she tweeted.
It remains to be seen what effect Mary Trump’s appeal might have on the rally.
Speaking to Newsmax on Friday, Trump was asked about accusations that he had chosen the location with the intention of “stoking the fires of Waco” but he responded by talking about crowd size.
“Well, I knew there’s tens of thousands of people that we’re going to have, you, you know, many, many tens of thousands, the line is already miles long trying to get in,” Trump said, “We’re going to have a great time in Waco, we’re going to have a great time in Texas.”
“We have tremendous support,” he continued. “We have a lot of congressmen coming, a lot of the great people in politics are coming, and most importantly the people of Texas are going, and it’s going to be a very big rally.”
Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung previously told Newsweek that the central-Texas city was chosen by the campaign “because it is centrally located to all four of Texas’ biggest metropolitan areas—Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio—while providing the necessary infrastructure to hold a rally of this magnitude.”
“This is the ideal location to have as many supporters from across the state and in neighboring states attend this historic rally,” Cheung said.
Newsweek has reached out to former President Trump’s office via email for further comment.
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