CNN

President Trump and his advisers await potential indictment in hush money case

Mar 22, 2023, 7:00 AM | Updated: Apr 4, 2023, 3:11 pm

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a Save America rally in October of 2022 in Warren, Mich...

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a Save America rally in October of 2022 in Warren, Michigan. Photo credit: Emily Elconin/Getty Images

(CNN) — Behind the gilded doors of Mar-a-Lago, former President Donald Trump has toyed with the idea of creating a media spectacle around his potential indictment, both celebrated how it will help him politically and complained about how “unfair” it is, and at times ignored the prospect of criminal charges altogether, sources close to him told CNN.

Two advisers said that the former president appears to have resigned himself to the likelihood of an indictment, with one close adviser calling his perceived distancing from the matter “compartmentalization.”

Even as there are signs the Manhattan grand jury investigation into Trump’s alleged role in a scheme to pay hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels is nearing an end and that preparations are being made for an indictment, it is not clear yet that the former president will be charged or when those charges could be unveiled.

Amid that uncertainty, Trump’s team is trying to prepare for several different potential scenarios.

“[Trump] knows it’s happening. We’ve all moved on to ‘OK, this is happening, how do we deal with it?'” one Trump adviser said.

Several advisers to the former president expressed frustration at the lack of information around a potential indictment and the logistical complications that would come with an appearance in New York, where Trump would be arraigned.

“We’re planning for what we can: What does he say and when?” another adviser told CNN. “There’s not a lot we can really plan for right now.”

Trump is scheduled to travel to Waco, Texas, on Saturday for his first major campaign rally since announcing his third presidential bid, though an adviser questioned whether an indictment could derail those plans.

“If this happens Friday, do we just go to Texas the next day?” the adviser added.

While some Republicans and Trump allies have argued an indictment could be politically beneficial to Trump, particularly in a contested 2024 GOP primary, others are uncertain there is any gain to be had from the situation.

“We’re in uncharted territory. We don’t know what this does long term politically. We’d rather he just not be indicted than get some potential boost,” a source involved with Trump’s campaign told CNN.

After calling for protests on his social media page over the weekend, Trump moved away from that language in recent days after calls from allies and advisers to tone down his rhetoric, a sign he may be listening to those around him.

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President Trump and his advisers await potential indictment in hush money case