Details of the charges are not known because the indictment is sealed, and the former president’s lawyer says he will not be handcuffed.
Donald Trump and his legal team were preparing for the unprecedented spectacle of a former US president facing criminal charges appearing in court on Tuesday.
The indictment of Trump remained under court seal on Friday, with the charges still unknown. He was preparing at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida for the upcoming trip to New York to surrender to authorities after learning on Thursday night that a grand jury had voted to charge him.
Joe Tacopina, a Trump lawyer, said on Friday that prosecutors informed him that the former president will not be handcuffed when he surrenders to authorities next week.
While Tacopina admitted that Trump was surprised by the indictment on Thursday and that he learned of his fate from the press, Trump continued to attack the investigation into a hush-money scheme during the 2016 presidential election.
After learning that the grand jury had voted to indict Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said nearly two hours later that he had contacted Trump’s attorneys to coordinate his surrender.
Tacopina said Trump expects to be arrested and arraigned (called to court to answer charges) on Tuesday afternoon in lower Manhattan, and he intends to plead not guilty to all charges.
Access to the courthouse will be severely restricted during the arraignment, according to the solicitor, amid concerns about potential unrest over the unprecedented arrest of a former US president. He predicted that the city of New York would not “allow this to become a circus.”
In the future, Tacopino added, “we’ll go in there and we’ll proceed to see a judge, plead not guilty, and start talking about filing motions, which we will do immediately and very aggressively on the legal viability of this case.”
Trump may face dozens of counts over his role in a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an adulterous affair with Trump beginning in 2006. It is yet unclear exactly what crimes Trump has been indicted on. Trump has denied the relationship, and although admitting to paying Michael Cohen’s former attorney back for the $130,000 he gave to Daniels, he maintains his innocence in the matter.
According to persons familiar with the situation, Trump’s indictment reportedly contains many allegations of fabricating company documents, including at least one felony. Nevertheless, the indictment itself has not been made public.
Piers Morgan, a British broadcaster, had scheduled an interview with Daniels for Friday evening but had to postpone it owing to unidentified “security difficulties.”
The former president continued to criticize investigators on social media as Trump’s legal team prepared for a bitter and potentially protracted legal battle. Even though the trial has yet to begin, Trump promised to appeal any decision in a post attacking the judge assigned to his case.
“They know I support the American People and won’t receive a fair trial in New York, so they merely brought this False, Corrupt, and Disgraceful Accusation against me!” Thursday night, Trump remarked.
Trump’s replacement has purposefully avoided bringing up the indictment. When pressed for comment by reporters as he departed the White House on Friday morning for a trip to Mississippi to assess the damage caused by a deadly tornado a week earlier, Joe Biden repeatedly said, “No comment.”
Republicans raced to Trump’s defense as Democrats reaffirmed that no one is above the law in response to the news of the indictment, which sent shockwaves across Capitol Hill.
“The integrity of our democracy depends on the supremacy of the rule of law. Hakeem Jeffries, the head of the House Democratic Caucus, stated that it must be administered fairly and without discrimination. “The nation is facing a serious time with the indictment of a former president. Now, Donald Trump’s legal future will be decided by a jury of his peers.
Prominent Republicans backed up Trump’s charges of political persecution, with Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, saying Bragg “irreparably injured our country.”
The House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg accountable for his unparalleled misuse of authority, according to McCarthy, who stated on Thursday that the American people would not stand for this injustice.
Even several of Trump’s rivals in the Republican campaign for president in 2024 came to his defense after Nikki Haley, a former US ambassador to the UN, charged that Bragg was using the issue to “make political points.”
According to Haley, it’s more about retaliation than it is about justice.
Mike Pence, Trump’s former vice president, referred to the indictment as “an atrocity” and “the criminalization of politics in this country.” Pence is widely anticipated to make his own White House run in the upcoming months.
Given that Trump supporters assaulted the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, and demanded that Pence be hanged for refusing to obstruct congressional certification of Biden’s victory in the 2020 election, Pence’s remarks were especially noteworthy.
Trump began his campaign event in Texas last weekend by playing a recording of the national anthem sung by January 6 insurrectionists, according to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer. Pence was asked if he felt comfortable with that, to which he said, “No.”