Donald Trump to appear before Manhattan court to face criminal charges

The former President waved at scores of his supporters as he came out from the SUV and was escorted immediately inside the building.

New York: Former US President Donald Trump is set to appear before a specially secured Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday to be arraigned on history-making criminal charges related to paying hush money to a porn star before the 2016 presidential election in exchange for her silence.

Trump, the first former US President to face a criminal charge, will appear before Judge Juan Merchan. American media quoted Trump’s attorneys as saying that the 76-year-old Republican leader, eying the White House for a second time in 2024, will plead not guilty.

Trump flew to New York City in his Boeing 757 aircraft from his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida on Monday and arrived at the La Guardia airport.

MS Education Academy

His motorcade then made its way to the Trump Tower on 5th Avenue in Manhattan where he stayed overnight.

Streets around the high-end Trump Tower have been cordoned off, with heavy police presence in and around the area.

The former President waved at scores of his supporters as he came out from the SUV and was escorted immediately inside the building.

After his court appearance, Trump will immediately fly back to Florida where he will deliver remarks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach in the evening.

The arraignment proceeding is expected to be brief. The charges in the indictment will be read to him at the hearing, which is set to last about 10-15 minutes. Trump has denied all wrongdoings in connection with the payments made to Stormy Daniels, 44, ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in the indictment, according to US media reports.

The investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office began when Trump was still in the White House and relates to a USD 130,000 payment made by his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels in late October 2016, days before the presidential election, to silence her from going public about an alleged affair with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has denied the affair.

Trump is not expected to be handcuffed and he will be surrounded by armed federal agents for his protection.

Trump will be booked by the investigators, which includes taking his fingerprints. Usually, a mug shot would be taken.

Trump’s lawyers on Monday urged Judge Merchan not to allow cameras inside the courtroom.

“We submit that the media request should be denied because it will create a circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment, raise unique security concerns, and is inconsistent with President Trump’s presumption of innocence,” his lawyers wrote in a letter said to Judge Merchan.

News outlets will not be allowed to broadcast Trump’s arraignment, the judge said Monday night, but he will allow some photographers to take pictures in the courtroom before the proceedings formally begin.

“WITCH HUNT,” Trump, a Republican, wrote on his Truth Social platform shortly before travelling from his home in Florida on Monday.

The indictment comes as Trump faces legal hurdles in other potential criminal cases. Trump is currently the front-runner among all declared and potential contenders for the 2024 Republican White House nomination. But there is nothing in the US law that prevents a candidate, who is found guilty of a crime, from campaigning for and serving as President — even from prison.

Trump was twice impeached by the House of Representatives. He was acquitted by the Senate both times.

Trump and his aides are using the indictment to rile up his supporters and bolster his 2024 re-election campaign.

“It’s hard to believe that I will be ARRESTED tomorrow as a result of the most disgraceful witch hunt in our nation’s history,” a Trump Campaign mail titled Tomorrow, I will be arrested’ said, as it urged voters to make a “contribution” to his campaign given that the “fate of our Republic” is “on the line”.

Trump’s team claimed that he has “raised over USD 4 million” in the 24 hours following Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s “unprecedented political persecution of the President, and blatant interference in the 2024 election against the leading Republican presidential candidate”.

Back to top button