Update (4/4/23 4:09 p.m. EST): Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg briefly summed up the 34 charges against Trump in a press release after the arraignment. “The People of the State of New York allege that Donald J. Trump repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election,” he said in a press release. “Manhattan is home to the country’s most significant business market. We cannot allow New York businesses to manipulate their records to cover up criminal conduct. As the Statement of Facts describes, the trail of money and lies exposes a pattern that, the People allege, violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws. As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law.”
Original: Former President Donald Trump surrendered himself to be arraigned in a criminal trial for an alleged 2016 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels on Tuesday, April 4. Trump, 76, was arraigned following the indictment from the grand jury investigation into the payment in New York. The former president has denied that he and Daniels had an affair, and he’s expected to plead “not guilty.”
Trump arrived at the New York City courthouse in the early afternoon, just before 1:30 p.m. to turn himself in, per The New York Times. After arriving at the office, he quickly left his motorcade and entered the building, where he’s expected to be arrested and processed. The former president was driven from his former residence at Trump Tower. As he exited the building, he raise a fist in the air to the crowd that had gathered outside.
Following the news of the indictment, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a statement on Twitter. “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office For arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” he said.
Ahead of the arraignment, Trump called out the judge and his family on his Truth Social platform. “”The highly partisan judge and his family are well-known Trump haters,” he wrote in all caps.
Before the indictment was revealed, Trump had written that he was expecting to be arrested after allegedly finding out from an “illegal leak” from Bragg in a message on his Truth Social platform on Saturday, March 18. “The far and away leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” he wrote. Trump wasn’t arrested on Tuesday, March 21, as he had predicted, and the following day the grand jury was instructed to stay home, per Reuters. The indictment came over a week after he had said he would be arrested.
As Trump told his followers that he was expecting to be arrested, he did call on them to protest the indictment in another all-caps message. “We just can’t allow this anymore. They’re killing our nation as we sit back and watch,” he wrote. “We must save America. Protest, Protest, Protest!”
Before the arraignment, NYC Mayor Eric Adams warned against violent protests in a press conference. “While there may be some rabble-rousers thinking about coming to our city tomorrow, a message is clear and simple: control yourselves. New York City is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger,” he said.
Although a spokesperson for Trump had said that they had not received a notification that he had been indicted, Joseph Tacopina, a member of his legal team, had said that they would follow appropriate procedures if Trump was indicted in an interview with MSNBC.
Trump was arrested after he allegedly instructed his then-fixer and attorney Michael Cohen to make a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels in the lead-up to the 2016 election to try and stop her from sharing a story about an alleged affair she had with Trump. Cohen has said that he paid off the entertainer and Trump promised to reimburse him for the money. Cohen was charged and served three years in prison for tax evasion and lying about the payment. The payment could be considered an improper campaign donation, per The New York Times.
Besides the New York arrest, Trump is also facing another grand jury investigation in Georgia for his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol has also given four criminal referrals for Trump to the Justice Department, including for insurrection.
Trump has clapped back against the investigations into him with a video on Truth Social of him earlier in March. “Our country has become the investigation capital of the world. Actually, that’s all we do, and it’s only good for our many enemies, our enemies that are laughing at us all over the world. They could not be happier as they brilliantly plot our demise and destruction. We have to get back to making America great again,” he said.