Trump Arraignment In Manhattan: What To Expect
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on April 3, 2023 in New York City.
(Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

Donald Trump journeyed on Monday to New York where he is expected to be arraigned Tuesday after he became the first former president to face criminal charges.

“HEADING TO NEW YORK. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!” the native New Yorker shared in an all-caps post to his Truth Social platform early Monday afternoon. Within a couple hours, he was landing in the Big Apple.

The trip comes less than a week after the former president was indicted as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg‘s investigation into the payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election cycle in exchange for her silence regarding an alleged affair that Trump denies.

While Trump has criticized the inquiry as a “witch hunt” as he runs a third campaign for the White House, Bragg’s office has defended itself against claims of politicization.

Trump departed from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida — where he now resides — sometime around noon on Monday. He drove past cheering supporters carrying American flags as well as pro-Trump flags.

“Unbelievable support for miles as we depart to New York!” tweeted Eric Trump, one of the former president’s sons, along with video from the motorcade.

Before long, Trump boarded the private plane that bears his name at Palm Beach International Airport, and took off on a flight to New York’s LaGuardia airport in Queens. After landing and traveling to Trump Tower in Manhattan,  the former president could be seen waving to supporters as he entered the building. Trump is expected to stay overnight at Trump Tower.

Law enforcement officials in New York have already beefed up security. In addition, officials said some roads would be closed around Trump Tower in Midtown and the courthouse in Lower Manhattan, per PIX11.

Demonstrations, both in support of and against Trump, are already taking place in New York. The New York Young Republican Club said it plans to “peacefully rally” at Collect Pond Park with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), one of Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress.

“Protesting is a constitutional right and I am going to NY on Tuesday to protest this unprecedented abuse of our justice system and election interference,” Greene tweeted form her personal account. “I also reject any attempt and anyone who dresses in MAGA but incites violence or commits violence while pretending to be one of us. You are not one of us, you are one of them. We will not live in fear and we will lawfully stand against tyranny and corruption while we show our support for President Trump.”

Come Tuesday, Trump is expected to voluntarily turn himself over to law enforcement, according to multiple reports. There is a great deal of anticipation, particularly among Trump’s critics, for a mugshot, but it appears that will not happen.

Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump in civil litigation, said not to expect handcuffs and also made the case for why a mugshot is not needed while speaking with conservative journalist Benny Johnson.

A report from Yahoo News published Monday evening cited a source briefed on the procedure who said Trump will not be handcuffed, have his photo taken, or be placed in a jail cell before entering the courtroom.

Trump is expected to appear before a judge for his arraignment at 2:15 p.m. There, “We will very loudly and proudly say ‘not guilty,’” Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Trump, told CNN.

Because the indictment is currently under seal, exactly what charges Trump faces remain unclear, but details may quickly come to light on Tuesday. The Yahoo News report claimed that Trump faces 34 felony counts for the alleged falsification of business records.

Trump’s legal team asked the judge to keep cameras out of the room, raising “grave concerns that audio/visual recordings of tomorrow’s arraignment will only further exacerbate an already almost circus-like atmosphere around this case.”

Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan issued a ruling denying a request by a coalition of news outlets for video coverage, but he will allow photographers to take still photos before the arraignment begins.

In an interview Sunday with ABC News, Tacopina said he did not know what to expect for Tuesday’s arraignment, considering the unprecedented nature of the case and different variables, including the Secret Service.

“What I hope is that we get in and out of there as quickly as possible, that it’s, at the end of the day, a typical arraignment where we stand before the judge, we say ‘not guilty,’ we set schedules to file motions and whatnot or discovery, and we move forward and get out there,” Tacopina said.

Tacopina also said he did not know if Trump planned to hold a press conference after the arraignment. Meanwhile, Bragg scheduled a press conference for 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

At some point on Tuesday the former president is expected to journey back to Florida. Trump’s re-election campaign announced on Sunday that the former president will deliver a public address from his Mar-a-Lago resort on Tuesday night. Those remarks were scheduled for 8:15 p.m. EDT.

There is speculation that the judge may place a gag order on Trump, limiting what he can say about the case outside of the courtroom. Trump’s legal team is looking to hire a First Amendment lawyer to “combat” efforts to silence him, a source told the Daily Mail.

As Trump began his voyage to New York on Monday, POLITICO reported that the former president hired white-collar defense attorney Todd Blanche as his lead counsel in the case. Trump’s adviser Jason Miller said the former president raised $7 million in the days following the indictment.

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