President Donald Trump has arrived at the Manhattan courthouse ahead of his scheduled arraignment when charges will be announced against him for the first time.
Trump has surrendered himself to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg where he is now under arrest until the arraignment hearing. At the office, Trump will undergo standard processing where he is expected to be fingerprinted and read his Miranda Rights. It is unclear if the former president will have to get his mug shot taken. Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina has said that the former president won’t be handcuffed during the process.
The former president, in a Truth Social post en route to the courthouse, wrote: “Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!”
The arraignment is scheduled at the New York County Supreme Court at 2:15 p.m. Judge Juan Merchan will preside over Trump’s arraignment.
Trump is facing charges related to an investigation into a hush money payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels in 2016. Daniels claims that Trump had an affair with her, but Trump has denied this. The payment was carried out by attorney Michael Cohen, a former Trump ally who has turned against the former president.
The arraignment marks the first proceeding of the criminal prosecution of a former president, something unprecedented in American history. It came days after a New York grand jury voted to indict Trump on March 30.
While the indictment remains sealed, legal experts anticipate that Trump would be charged with felony-level falsifying business records. This charge would require Bragg to prove that Trump intended to falsify business records in an attempt to commit or cover up another crime—in this case, federal campaign finance violations.
It is believed that the case heavily relies on the testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Cohen paid $130,000 in hush money to Daniels to prevent her from going public about an alleged affair she had with Trump a decade earlier. Trump denies the affair.
By Joseph Lord