Former President Donald Trump will be arrested this afternoon by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and will be processed in New York City before being released.
Trump will not be handcuffed or be subjected to a mug shot, his lawyers announced.
But recent leaks from the DA’s office show Trump may be in a more serious court battle than originally thought.
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According to a bombshell report from Yahoo! News, Trump will be charged with 34 different felonies at his arraignment. The indictment will be officially unsealed this afternoon when Trump surrenders to authorities.
Originally it was reported that at least one of the leaked charges would be classes as a felony — but not all 34.
It’s an unprecedented legal move by the Democratic DA’s office. No other former U.S. president has ever been charged with a crime.
The booking and appearance before Judge Juan Merchan should be relatively brief — though hardly routine — as Trump is fingerprinted, learns the charges against him and pleads, as expected, not guilty. Merchan has ruled that TV cameras won’t be allowed in the courtroom.
Trump, who was impeached twice by the then Democrat-controlled U.S. House but was never convicted in the U.S. Senate, will become the first former president to face criminal charges.
Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina said Tuesday that the former president wouldn’t plead guilty to lesser charges, even if it might resolve the case. He said he didn’t believe the case would ever make it to a jury, but conceded, “Really, there’s a lot of mystery here because we’re doing something that’s never been done before.”
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“I think there will be a typical processing, which does not take long, 20-30 minutes. There won’t be handcuffs,” Tacopina told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “But, yeah, he’ll be processed the way anyone else would be — to a degree.”
New York police said they were ready for large protests by Trump supporters, who share the Republican former president’s belief that the New York grand jury indictment and three additional pending investigations are politically motivated and intended to interfere in his bid to retake the White House in 2024.
As Tuesday wore on, however, journalists often vastly outnumbered the protesters.
Trump, the former 45th commander in chief, has been hyping that narrative to his political advantage, saying he raised $8 million in the less than a week since the indictment on claims of a “witch hunt.” He has assailed the Manhattan district attorney, called for peaceful protest, and claimed that the judge presiding over the case “hates me.”
Trump is scheduled to return to his Palm Beach, Florida, home, Mar-a-Lago, on Tuesday evening to hold a campaign rally, punctuating his new reality: submitting to the dour demands of the American criminal justice system while projecting an aura of defiance and victimhood at celebratory campaign events. At least 500 prominent supporters have been invited, with some of the most pro-Trump congressional Republicans expected to attend.
Inside the Manhattan courtroom, prosecutors led by New York’s district attorney, Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, are expected to unseal the indictment issued last week by a grand jury. This is when Trump and his defense lawyers will get their first glimpse of the precise allegations against him.
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Trump pollster John McLaughlin said the former president would approach the day with “dignity.”
“He will be a gentleman,” McLaughlin said. “He’ll show strength and he’ll show dignity and … we’ll get through this and win the election.”
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article