Former President Donald Trump’s loyal supporters gathered outside his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, as he faces possible criminal indictment in New York. The rally was one of the pro-Trump demonstrations that took place across the country, as many of his fans stayed home due to fears of federal agents or false flag attacks.
Trump had called for protests against his potential arrest, which could happen as soon as this week, according to reports. He is under investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. for alleged tax fraud, bank fraud and insurance fraud. He has denied any wrongdoing and called the probe a “witch hunt”.
However, Trump’s call for protests did not resonate with many of his most fervent supporters, who believe that the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, was instigated by federal agents or left-wing activists who hoped to discredit him. They point to the presence of confidential FBI sources in the crowd that day, but there is no evidence of a plot by federal authorities to spark violence.
Some prominent Trump allies, such as far-right activist Ali Alexander and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, announced that they were not planning to protest and warned others to stay away from potential traps. Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene also expressed similar concerns on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a close ally of Trump and a possible 2024 presidential contender, said he would not assist any attempt by New York authorities to extradite Trump if he is indicted. He said he would use his constitutional authority to review any such request and suggested that it would be politically motivated.
“I think that’s a very dangerous precedent,” DeSantis said in an interview with a US News channel on Monday. “I don’t want to see that as a Floridian. I don’t want to see that as an American.”
DeSantis’s stance could set up a legal battle between Florida and New York over Trump’s fate, as the former president has made Mar-a-Lago his permanent residence since leaving office. According to legal experts, DeSantis could delay or challenge the extradition process, but he could not ultimately prevent it if there is a valid warrant for Trump’s arrest.