NEW YORK, Caasimada Online) – New York City is preparing for the arraignment of former President Donald Trump on Tuesday, as he faces criminal charges related to hush money paid to a porn star ahead of the 2016 election.
Security measures are being tightened around Manhattan, particularly near Trump Tower and the Manhattan Criminal Court building, where demonstrations are expected.
The former president plans to travel from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach to New York City on Monday.
According to an adviser, he will spend the night at Trump Tower before appearing at the courthouse on Tuesday morning.
Trump’s lawyers said he would enter a not-guilty plea during the arraignment, scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
New York police have erected barricades around the courthouse and Trump Tower in anticipation of protests.
The New York Police Department released a statement saying, “Officers have been placed on alert, and the department remains ready to respond as needed and will ensure everyone can peacefully exercise their rights.”
In addition to these measures, some courtrooms on the higher floors of the courthouse will be shut down as part of the security precautions.
The charges and legal strategy
While the specific charges from the grand jury indictment have not been disclosed, the investigation has centered around a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she was paid to keep silent about a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
Trump has denied the affair and maintains his innocence. His allies argue that the charges are politically motivated, stemming from an investigation led by Manhattan’s Democratic District Attorney, Alvin Bragg.
Joe Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers, stated that the defense team would “dissect” the indictment once it is made public and explore “every potential issue” to challenge the charges.
Tacopina anticipates filing a motion to dismiss the case at some point.
Public response and legal proceedings
U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene expressed her support for Trump, tweeting an invitation to join her at a protest near the courthouse on Tuesday.
She stated, “They’re not coming after President Trump; they’re coming after us. He’s just in their way.”
Trump is expected to appear before Justice Juan Merchan, who also presided over a criminal trial last year involving Trump’s real estate company, which was convicted of tax fraud. Trump himself was not charged in that case.
The judge has requested both sides to submit their positions on allowing cameras and video in the courtroom and will decide on Monday.
Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyer, Tacopina, said it is unlikely there will be a “perp walk” due to security concerns, as the Secret Service protects former presidents.
Trump’s political future
Donald Trump, now 76, served as president from 2017 to 2021 and announced his bid in November to run for the presidency in 2024.
If successful, he would deny Democratic President Joe Biden a second term in office.
The outcome of this case could significantly impact Trump’s political ambitions and his standing within the Republican Party.
Following the arraignment, Trump will return to Florida and deliver remarks at Mar-a-Lago at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday (0015 GMT on Wednesday), as announced by his office.
As the legal battle unfolds, the nation will watch closely how the former president navigates these uncharted waters, making him the first U.S. president to face criminal charges.