Former President Donald Trump is expected to make an appearance in a New York court on Tuesday. He will be attending an arraignment hearing and is expected to face felony charges in relation to a 2016 alleged hush money payment to adult entertainment actress Stormy Daniels.
Before Trump’s appearance in court, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office will process him. He will be fingerprinted and have a mug shot taken, and he will be read his Miranda rights.
The hearing is scheduled at the New York County Supreme Court at 2:15 p.m., where Judge Juan Merchan will preside over Trump’s arraignment.
This arraignment will mark the first criminal prosecution of a former president in American history. The New York grand jury voted to indict Trump on March 30.
On Tuesday morning, dozens of protesters and hundreds of media employees gathered outside the court.
Trump will be accompanied by Secret Service for the duration of the proceedings. Security reasons are expected to preclude him from having to make a public arrival or “perp walk.” Joseph Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers on the case, stated that the former president won’t be handcuffed.
Given that New York laws restrict its publication unless for law enforcement purposes, Trump’s mug shot is not expected to be released. Alina Habba, another lawyer for Trump, voiced her objection against any release or leak of Trump’s mug shot.
Trump arrived in New York on Monday afternoon and stayed the night at Trump Tower. Outside his Manhattan home, a small group of supporters gathered, waving American flags and chanting “we love Trump.”
Although the indictment remains sealed, legal experts anticipate that Trump will be charged with felony-level falsifying business records. To prove this charge, Bragg must establish that Trump intended to falsify business records in an attempt to commit or cover up another crime. In this case, it relates to federal campaign finance violations.
It is believed that the case heavily relies on the testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money prior to the 2015 presidential election to ensure her silence about an alleged decade-old affair she had with Trump. Trump denies the affair.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to violating federal campaign finance laws by arranging payments to Daniels and another woman who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. In his plea agreement, Cohen stated that he did so at Trump’s direction and was reimbursed by the Trump Organization through routine legal expenses, despite his earlier claims to the contrary.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the matter, denouncing the case as “political persecution.”
During the arraignment, Trump’s defense attorney will be handed the charges against the former president. The hearing will not be televised.
Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Fox News’ Hannity on Monday night that he expects to file multiple motions to dismiss after receiving the indictment.
“There will be a host of motions we’re going to make, including, I’m telling you right off the bat, a motion to dismiss based on selective prosecution and prosecutorial misconduct,” Tacopina said, indicating that the defense team will investigate other motions, such as a venue change, after reviewing the indictment.
The judge could also potentially issue a gag order, prohibiting Trump and his lawyers from publicly discussing the case. Violators of such an order could be found in contempt of court. Legal experts do not expect such an order to be issued due to its potential to interfere with the presidential election.
Given that New York laws bar prosecutors from seeking bail in non-violent felony offenses, Trump is expected to be released following the arraignment. Afterward, he will head home to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, where he is scheduled to deliver a speech at 8:15 p.m. ET.
According to some legal experts, Bragg’s case against Trump faces significant legal hurdles. Alan Dershowitz, a legal scholar who spent 50 years teaching at Harvard Law, was skeptical about Bragg’s possible attempt to combine state and federal laws – a falsifying business records charge and campaign finance laws, respectively.
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