Donald Trump, the former president and front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, was in Manhattan on Tuesday for an arraignment hearing in a criminal case. He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The case was brought after an investigation of hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump made a grand entrance and wore a dark blue suit and red tie. Trump, 76, waved to the crowd that had gathered outside the courthouse and held his fist up in the air in a gesture to reporters as he departed his Trump Tower residence in his motorcade. Trump posted on social media that he felt the whole situation was surreal and could not believe it was happening.
The first sitting or former U.S. president to face criminal charges, the charges had yet to be disclosed. As Trump entered the courtroom, photographers took pictures for several minutes. Trump’s lawyers urged the judge to block any videography, photography and radio coverage, arguing it would worsen “an already almost circus-like atmosphere.”
Outside the courthouse, hundreds of Trump supporters and detractors were separated by barricades set up by police to try to keep order. Among the Trump supporters, Gina Witcher of Maryland said the indictment was very scary and saw Democratic prosecutors going after conservatives for political reasons. Trump critics held signs including one of Trump dressed in a striped jail uniform behind bars and another that read, “Lock Him Up.”
In other social media posts, Trump renewed his attacks on the judge who presided over a trial in which Trump’s real estate company was convicted of tax fraud last year. He also asked that it be moved to Staten Island, which regularly votes Republican.
The White House remained mum on the ongoing drama in New York with Karine Jean-Pierre commenting, “I think the American people should feel reassured that when there is an ongoing case like this one that we’re just not commenting.”
On a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday, Donald Trump was shown to be widening the lead over his rivals for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination. He is due to speak from his Mar-a-Lago resort at 8:15 pm on Tuesday.
This is not the only legal issue the former President faces. He also faces a separate criminal probe by a Democratic local prosecutor in Georgia into whether he unlawfully tried to overturn his 2020 election defeat in the state. He also faces two U.S. Justice Department investigations led by a special counsel into efforts to overturn the 2020 election results and his handling of classified documents after leaving office.
Donald Trump first rose to prominence in New York as a real estate business and before his foray into politics and Presidency. Despite the criminal charges, Trump’s conviction won’t legally prevent him from running for President.
Alvin Bragg, the Democrat who led the investigation, is set to give a news conference after the arraignment. It remains to be seen how this case will affect Trump’s 2024 run for Presidency.
Trump Organization is Donald Trump’s real estate and branding business that had evolved over the decades prior to Trump’s Presidency. Trump Organization had come under investigation in the past in multiple cases, including a case of tax fraud during his Presidential tenure.
Donald Trump, a former real estate mogul and TV celebrity, first ran for office in 2016 and was elected President. During his term, he presided over tumultous years of tax reforms, Brexit negotiations and the covid-19 pandemic. Trump has been making headlines since then, ever since announcing a plans to run for the Presidency in 2024.