Former President Donald Trump arrived in New York City on his private plane Monday ahead of his expected booking and arraignment.
Trump’s ground journey from his Mar-a-Lago club to his red, white and blue Boeing 757 named Trump Force One and emblazoned with “TRUMP” in gold letters was carried live on national television and took him past supporters waving banners and cheering the former president. Trump and his supporters criticize the case against him as politically motivated.
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The scene was quite different in New York, where Trump built a national profile in business and entertainment but became deeply unpopular as he moved into politics.
His return to the city opens an unprecedented chapter in American history, with Trump being the first former president to face criminal charges even as he is in the midst of a third campaign for the White House. It’s causing major legal, political, and cultural events collide in unprecedented ways.
The former president planned to spend the night at Trump Tower, then surrender to authorities on Tuesday for booking and a likely afternoon arraignment.
Trump Tower was open Monday, but authorities were planning to close nearby streets as Trump came and went, and additional security was also in the works. They’ve taken steps to close and secure the courthouse floor where the former president is set to appear for an arraignment Tuesday afternoon.
Trump supporters, including one of his staunchest defenders in Congress, Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, planned a rally in New York late Tuesday morning, probably before Trump would have to stand before a judge as part of the arraignment.
The former president and his aides were eagerly embracing the expected media circus. After initially being caught off guard by news of the indictment when it broke Thursday evening, Trump and his team are focused on using what they call a weak case against Trump to his advantage.
More than 1,200 miles away in Florida, demonstrators supporting Trump began gathered before dawn at a West Palm Beach shopping center on the way to the airport, hours before he was set to pass along the route.
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No former president has ever been indicted and Trump’s active campaign for the presidency during next year’s election only further raises the political stakes. Trump spent the weekend golfing and meeting advisers but his campaign said Monday it has raised more than $7 million since word of the indictment broke. One Trump fundraising email Monday carried the subject line, “Tomorrow, I will be arrested.”
Top Republicans, including some of Trump’s potential rivals in next year’s GOP presidential primary, have decried the case against him. President Joe Biden and leading Democrats have largely had little to say about it.
The Associated Press contributed to this article