New York City holds its breath as both pro and anti Donald Trump protesters descend on the Big Apple for the ex-President’s historic day of reckoning
- NYPD are braced for protests along the streets from Trump Tower to DA’s office
- Barricades line the roads and thousands of cops are on standby for arraignment
Pro and anti-Donald Trump protesters are expected to line the streets of the Big Apple today as the former president prepares to surrender to face criminal charges stemming from 2016 hush money payments.
Trump’s unprecedented journey will begin when he departs his Trump Tower penthouse in Midtown Manhattan at around 10.30am – closely guarded by his Secret Service detail – for an 11am arrival at District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office downtown.
Once inside and away from the glare of the world’s media, the 76-year-old is expected to have his fingerprints taken but will likely avoid the humiliation of having to pose for a mugshot, according to reports last night.
He will then be ushered into the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse, which is inside the same building as Bragg’s office, for the landmark arraignment hearing.
New York police are braced for protests along the streets from Trump Tower to the DA’s office, with thousands of cops on standby in case violence breaks out.
Barricades are lining the roads to hem in Trump supporters in particular, who share the former president’s belief that the New York grand jury indictment is politically motivated and intends to weaken his bid to retake the White House in 2024.
Hordes of pro-Trump protesters turned out to greet the former president as he arrived at Trump Tower yesterday from his residence in Mar-A-Lago, waving flags and yelling messages of support. But they were met with plenty of anti-Trump protesters holding placards that read ‘Lock Him Up’ and ‘Trump Is Guilty’.
A view from the around of Trump Tower in New York City after former US President Donald Trump arrives Trump Tower in New York City from Florida estate on Monday
A protester holds a placard outside Trump Tower in New York on Monday, April 3, 2023
Anti-Trump protesters were seen outside of Trump Tower in New York City last night
A protester holds a sign reading ‘Lock Him Up!’ as he stands outside of a media area near Trump Tower, in New York on April 3, 2023.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on April 03, 2023
Police guard the entrance to the Manhattan District Attorney’s offices outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Trump, who was impeached twice by the U.S. House but was never convicted in the U.S. Senate, will become the first former president to face criminal charges. The nation’s 45th commander in chief will be escorted from Trump Tower to the courthouse by the Secret Service and may have his mug shot taken.
READ MORE: How Trump’s date with history will play out
The former reality-TV star has been hyping that narrative to his political advantage, raising millions of dollars since the indictment on claims of a ‘witch hunt.’
He has personally assailed the Manhattan district attorney, egged on supporters to protest, and claimed without evidence that the judge presiding over the case ‘hates me’ – something Trump’s own lawyer has said is not true.
Trump is scheduled to return to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, this evening to hold a rally, punctuating his new reality: submitting to the dour demands of the American criminal justice system while projecting an aura of defiance and victimhood at celebratory campaign events.
A conviction would not prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.
Inside the Manhattan courtroom, prosecutors led by New York’s district attorney, Alvin Bragg, are expected to unseal the indictment issued last week by a grand jury.
This is when Trump and his defense lawyers will get their first glimpse of the precise allegations against him.
The indictment includes multiple charges of falsifying business records, including at least one felony offense, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press last week.
After the arraignment, Trump is expected to be released by authorities because the charges against him don’t require that bail be set.
A grand jury decided to indict Trump after hearing evidence about allegations that he paid $130,000 to adult movie star Stormy Daniels (pictured) to buy her silence over an alleged affair
The investigation is scrutinizing 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 got into politics.
Trump denies having sexual liaisons with either woman and has denied any wrongdoing involving payments.
The arraignment will unfold against the backdrop of heavy security in New York, coming more than two years after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed bid to halt the congressional certification of President Joe Biden’s win.
Though police said they had no intelligence suggesting any violence was likely, they were on high alert for any potential disruptions.
‘While there may be some rabble rousers thinking of coming to our city tomorrow, our message is clear and simple: Control yourselves,’ Mayor Eric Adams said at a news conference Monday.
Trump pollster John McLaughlin said the former president would approach the day with ‘dignity.’
‘He will be a gentleman,’ McLaughlin said. ‘He’ll show strength and he’ll show dignity and … we’ll get through this and win the election.’
A crowd of Trump supporters and press members gathered along 5th Avenue outside the barricaded Trump Tower yesterday
A bulked-up NYPD presence was seen on Fifth Avenue on Monday
Barricades were set up around Trump Tower on on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Monday ahead of Trump’s arrival
A protester holds a sign reading ‘Arrest Biden’ in front of Manhattan’s DA office
Protesters and bystanders lined the streets yesterday as Trump arrived in NYC ahead of his arraignment today
The public fascination with the case was evident Monday as national television carried live images of Trump’s motorcade from his Mar-a-Lago club to his red, white and blue Boeing 757. From there, he was flown to New York, where he was expected to spend the night at Trump Tower before turning himself in the following day.
The former president and his aides are embracing the media circus. After initially being caught off guard when news of the indictment broke Thursday evening, Trump and his team are hoping to use the case to his advantage. Still, they asked the judge in a Monday filing to ban photo and video coverage of the arraignment.
Though prosecutors routinely insist that no person is above the law, bringing criminal charges against a former president carries instant logistical complications.
New York’s ability to carry out safe and drama-free courthouse proceedings in a case involving a polarizing ex-president could be an important test case as prosecutors in Atlanta and Washington conduct their own investigations of Trump that could also result in charges.
Those investigations concern efforts to undo the 2020 election results as well as the possible mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.
Top Republicans, including some of Trump’s potential rivals in next year’s GOP presidential primary, have decried the case against him. President Joe Biden, who has yet to formally announce that he’s seeking reelection next year, and other leading Democrats have largely had little to say about it.
Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, was campaigning on Monday near the U.S.-Mexico border as part of her presidential bid and suggested that coverage of the former president’s indictment was distracting from other key issues, like immigration.
But even she added, ‘You’ve got a liberal prosecutor that’s doing political revenge against a former president.’
Prosecutors say their case against Trump has nothing to do with politics.
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