Trump enters New York City courtroom for arraignment

Wearing his trademark dark suit and red tie, Trump turned and waved to the crowd outside the building before going inside to be fingerprinted and processed, a remarkable reckoning after years of investigations into his personal, business, and personal dealings. and politicians and an extraordinary moment in US history.

A stone-faced Trump walked into the courtroom shortly before 2:30 p.m. local time without saying anything.

He arrived at the courthouse in an eight-car motorcade that took him from Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan across the main north-south highway on the city’s east side, past landmarks like the United Nations.

Along the way, the former president posted on his social media platform: “Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. It seems so SURREAL – WOW, I’m going to be ARRESTED. I can’t believe this is happening in America. WIZARD!”

The booking and appearance before Judge Juan Merchan should be relatively brief, though not routine, as Trump first learns of the charges against him.

Trump will plead not guilty, according to his lawyers, and is expected to plead guilty himself, as is customary in court.

Judge Merchan has ruled that television cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom.

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Donald Trump’s motorcade leaves Trump Tower (Brittainy Newman/AP)

Trump, who was twice impeached by the US House but never convicted in the US Senate, is the first former president to face criminal charges.

“He’s strong and he’s ready to act,” Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told The Associated Press.

Earlier, Tacopina said in a television interview that the former president would not plead guilty to lesser charges, even if it could settle the case. He also said that he did not believe the case would go to a jury.

The New York police said they were ready for large protests from Trump supporters, who share the former Republican president’s belief that the New York grand jury indictment and three additional pending investigations are politically motivated and intended to undermine his bid to retake the White House in 2024.

However, the journalists often outnumbered the protesters.

Trump, a former reality star, has been exaggerating that narrative to his political advantage, saying he raised more than $8 million in the days after the impeachment over allegations of a “witch hunt.”

His campaign launched a fundraising request titled “My Last Email Before Arrest” and repeatedly attacked the Manhattan district attorney, inciting supporters to protest and claiming without evidence that the judge presiding over the case “hates me.” , something that his own lawyer has said. said is not true.

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Donald Trump will appear in court in New York City (John Minchillo/AP)

Trump is scheduled to return to his Palm Beach, Florida, home, Mar-a-Lago, on Tuesday night to make comments.

A conviction would not prevent Trump from running or winning the presidency in 2024.

Inside a Manhattan courtroom, prosecutors led by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, are expected to unseal the indictment handed down last week by a grand jury.

This is when Trump and his defense attorneys will get their first look at the precise allegations against him.

The indictment contains multiple counts of falsifying business records, including at least one felony, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press last week.

After the arraignment, authorities are expected to release Trump because the charges against him do not require bail to be set.

The investigation looks into six-figure payments made to porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Both say they had sexual encounters with the married Trump years before he entered politics.

Trump denies having sex with any of the women and has denied any wrongdoing related to payments.


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