Former President Donald Trump has returned to his former stomping grounds of New York City for the first time since leaving office and faces criminal charges stemming from hush money payments during his 2016 campaign. After boarding his private airplane at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, Trump was welcomed with supporters waving banners and cheering him on.
New York City officials have warned potential agitators that the city is “not a playground for [their] misplaced anger,” and bolstered security measures in advance of the former president’s arraignment. Trump Tower is currently open, but surrounding streets are going to be closed when the former president comes and goes. Additional security has been put in place for his expected afternoon arraignment, which is unprecedented for a former president.
Moreover, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, one of Trump’s staunchest defenders in Congress has planned a rally outside the courthouse where the arraignment will take place. Mayor Eric Adams has cautioned her to be on her best behavior while in town, citing the potential of rabble rousers taking advantage of the situation.
Trump, who is also running a third campaign for the White House, has criticized the case against him, calling it politically motivated. From Florida, he and his team have announced that they have raised more than five million dollars since word of the indictment broke. Moreover, more than 1200 miles away supporters of the former president gathered to show their support.
Trump Tower, once the centerpiece of Trump’s real estate business and entertainment ventures, is now the place he calls home and the stage of a major historical event. As New York City braces for the news of a former president facing criminal charges, it is sure to be captivated by the legal, political and cultural events of this case.