The former US president has entered a Manhattan courthouse to face what he calls “politically motivated” charges.
Former US President Donald Trump appeared at a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday afternoon, where he was placed under arrest and accused of a series of charges.
His attorneys have denounced the move as a politically motivated “witch hunt” by the local District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a registered Democrat.
The nature of the charges was leaked to the press last Friday, and more details were published on Monday, indicating that Bragg is going after the 45th president for the “crime” of allegedly falsifying business records in regard to “hush money” reportedly paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Federal prosecutors declined to pursue the case, and multiple legal scholars have argued that the charges amount to a misdemeanor campaign violation at best. Hillary Clinton paid a fine for the same exact transgression in the matter of funding the notorious “Steele dossier,” a series of fabrications accusing Trump of having ties to Russia.
Trump himself has denounced the indictment as purely political. Though Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he might not honor the politicized New York arrest warrant, Trump decided to fly in from his Mar-a-Lago home to New York on Monday, and turn himself in on Tuesday.
Contrary to expectations of multiple media outlets, he was not handcuffed or “perp-walked” before the cameras. The former president arrived in a motorcade and walked into the office building, flanked by his Secret Service protection detail.
The indictment has galvanized support for Trump, who is also running in the 2024 election. He has reportedly raised millions in campaign funds. Thousands rallied outside Mar-a-Lago to see his motorcade off to the airport, while hundreds of supporters gathered outside the Trump Tower in Manhattan to show their support. A cordon of police separated the New York supporters from a crowd of pro-Democrat protesters who gathered to celebrate Trump’s indictment, and attempted to drown out Trump supporters with noisemakers, whistles, pots and pans, and insults.
Trump pleads not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in first degree
Supporters and opponents of former President Donald Trump are gathering near the court in Manhattan, where Trump is expected to be charged, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the scene on Tuesday.
A fence has been erected in the square near the court building, separating about a hundred Trump supporters and a smaller group of his opponents.
The opponents are accusing Trump of lying and seek him being arrested, while his supporters are waving flags with the his name, including a flag with the inscription “Trump or death.”
A significant number of New York Police Department officers are present around the court as well as numerous reporters and television crews.
The former president wrote on his social network Truth Social that the court – located in a district where the Democrats have strong support – would be dishonest and the case should be transferred to Staten Island.
A grand jury in New York voted to indict Trump last week. The former president will officially be charged only when he appears in court, but it is assumed that the case has to do with him allegedly providing hush money to pornography actress Stormy Daniels while being a contender for the US presidency.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing on his part, including having an affair with Daniels. Trump has also said the case is a political witch hunt against him ahead of the 2024 US presidential election.