The 76-year-old is anticipated to enter a not-guilty plea to a host of allegations involving hush funds given to a porn star before the 2016 election that propelled him to power.
At a New York court, Donald Trump is detained and appears before the court in the hush funds case
As the first American president to ever face criminal charges, Donald Trump turned himself in on Tuesday for a historic court hearing in New York that was held amidst high security and a worldwide media frenzy.
The hearing, which is taking place in front of a live television audience while rival protesters demonstrate outside, is a turning point for the US criminal justice and political systems and has the potential to sway the 2024 presidential election, in which Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee.
Trump wrote on his Truth Social app as he traveled to the courthouse from Trump Tower, where he spent the night after flying from Florida, “Seems so Vivid — WOW, they are going to imprison me.”
A development that has thrust the United States into uncharted political waters is the criminal indictment of the twice-impeached Republican, making him the first sitting or former American president to do so.
Although cameras won’t be permitted during the hearing itself, US networks carried live coverage of Trump’s motorcade as it made the short drive to court with police lining the streets and helicopters buzzing overhead.
Before entering the complex while being guarded by the US Secret Service, Trump waved to his voters as he got out of his car.
Demonstrations outside the courthouse
Trump asserts that he is a target of “political persecution,” but he is also using the legal battle to mobilize his base of supporters and bring up millions of dollars for his campaign to retake the White House the following year.
Trump called the court proceedings a “kangaroo court” on Truth Social hours before the hearing, writing that “THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS HAVE MADE ILLEGAL THE JUDICIAL PROCESS.”
Numerous Trump supporters and opponents, members of the media, and curious onlookers were among the hundreds of people who gathered outside the venue.
Police entered the fray as the pro-Trump side yelled obscenities at peaceful demonstrators while many were wearing “MAGA” hats and clothing with the American flag on it.
Trump opponents waved a large poster that read “Trump lies all the time” and recited “Put him in jail!” while supporters for Trump waved a flag that read “Trump or Death” during their demonstration.
Concerning the $130,000 payment case
A grand jury indicted Trump last week in the case brought by Democrat-elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
The allegations center on an investigation into a $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels just a few days before Trump won the election.
Also Read| 1st US President To Face Criminal Charges
Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney, and assistant who has since turned against his former employer, claim to have organized the payment to Daniels in return for her silence regarding an alleged tryst she had with the president in 2006.
Legal professionals have suggested that if the payment is not properly accounted for, it may result in penalties for faking business records, possibly to hide a campaign finance violation.
Between now and election day, Trump could be charged with additional, more serious crimes as a result of several impartial criminal investigations taking place at the federal and state levels.
They involve things like his attempts to have his Georgia loss in the 2020 election overturned, the way he handled sensitive information, and whether he took part on January 6, 2021, storming of the US Capitol.