Trump indictment live: former president set to appear in New York courthouse in hush money case

Trump indictment live: former president set to appear in New York courthouse in hush money case

Trump arraignment will get under way soon

Donald Trump’s arraignment is scheduled to take place in a few hours. Here’s what we know so far:

  • Trump will be arraigned at 2.15pm ET at a courthouse in lower Manhattan. At the arraignment, Trump is expected to plead not guilty to all charges linked to his involvement in a hush-money scheme during the 2016 election. After the arraignment, Trump will likely be allowed to return home to Florida.

  • Trump is expected to be arrested and processed shortly before his arraignment. As part of his arrest, Trump will be fingerprinted and likely photographed, but his lawyer has said he does not expect Trump to be handcuffed.

  • Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort at 8.15pm ET. The former president has already aggressively dismissed any suggestion of wrongdoing on his part, and he will likely only intensify his attacks on prosecutors after being arraigned.

  • No electronic devices will be allowed in the courtroom. The judge overseeing the case, New York supreme court Justice Juan Merchan, issued a ruling late last night that only a handful of still photographers would be allowed to take pictures inside the room.

  • Reporters lined up outside the courthouse overnight in the hopes of getting a seat in the arraignment room. Several dozen reporters are expected to be allowed inside the room to witness the unprecedented event of a former US president formally responding to criminal charges.

  • A trial may still be months away. Once Trump enters his initial plea, Merchan will likely set a schedule for pre-trial hearings, but it may take several months for the actual trial to begin.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Voters in Wisconsin are casting ballots today in one of the most important elections of 2023 – a contest that will determine the ideological balance of the state’s supreme court.

“,”elementId”:”bb49362c-1d94-4f02-86d2-dacbcf232532″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The court will probably determine the future of abortion in Wisconsin and it is also poised to play a hugely consequential role in setting election rules for the 2024 presidential election in the critical battleground state.

“,”elementId”:”006afbe4-f5e4-4611-a7ad-c28f636a427b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The race is the most expensive judicial race in American history. More than $45m has been spent, shattering the $10m record that was spent in Wisconsin in 2020 as well as the national record $15m spent on an Illinois race in 2004.

“,”elementId”:”1ea289b1-b5fb-4fd9-bf0f-84019c1ba66e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The Guardian’s Sam Levine and Alice Herman are on the ground in Wisconsin talking to voters throughout the day.

“,”elementId”:”c11d5ff5-6b67-4106-917b-ea6bd98df4a8″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TweetBlockElement”,”html”:”

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/aliceraeherman/status/1643262827946287108?s=20″,”id”:”1643262827946287108″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”a377f8f6-9b2d-4cdd-a9f0-c65940a47bb2″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1680619975000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”15.52 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1680621378000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”16.16 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1680620778000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”16.06 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”16.06″,”title”:”Wisconsin voters cast ballots in one of the year’s most important elections”,”contributors”:[{“name”:”Sam Levine”,”imageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2022/12/09/Sam_Levine.jpg?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=25e62f18000fc746ffbf14a234227fd1″,”largeImageUrl”:”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/uploads/2022/12/09/Sam_Levine_Next_Gen.png?width=300&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=b749a487d2c9f5ea6cea0ef137bce319″}],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 4 Apr 2023 17.47 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 4 Apr 2023 11.00 BST”},{“id”:”642c2e508f08c2cb8d357137″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Donald Trump’s arraignment is scheduled to take place in a few hours. Here’s what we know so far:

“,”elementId”:”44ff3023-ca88-49f1-8c43-2f0175534e15″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    n

  • Trump will be arraigned at 2.15pm ET at a courthouse in lower Manhattan. At the arraignment, Trump is expected to plead not guilty to all charges linked to his involvement in a hush-money scheme during the 2016 election. After the arraignment, Trump will likely be allowed to return home to Florida.

  • n

  • Trump is expected to be arrested and processed shortly before his arraignment. As part of his arrest, Trump will be fingerprinted and likely photographed, but his lawyer has said he does not expect Trump to be handcuffed.

  • n

  • Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort at 8.15pm ET. The former president has already aggressively dismissed any suggestion of wrongdoing on his part, and he will likely only intensify his attacks on prosecutors after being arraigned.

  • n

  • No electronic devices will be allowed in the courtroom. The judge overseeing the case, New York supreme court Justice Juan Merchan, issued a ruling late last night that only a handful of still photographers would be allowed to take pictures inside the room.

  • n

  • Reporters lined up outside the courthouse overnight in the hopes of getting a seat in the arraignment room. Several dozen reporters are expected to be allowed inside the room to witness the unprecedented event of a former US president formally responding to criminal charges.

  • n

  • A trial may still be months away. Once Trump enters his initial plea, Merchan will likely set a schedule for pre-trial hearings, but it may take several months for the actual trial to begin.

  • n

“,”elementId”:”f94814c8-cdd5-4f86-a87a-7aa756403394″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

“,”elementId”:”9293c914-3c74-44ab-b15d-27e333244a67″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:true,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1680617040000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”15.04 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1680626114000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”17.35 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1680617849000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”15.17 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”15.17″,”title”:”Trump arraignment will get under way soon”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 4 Apr 2023 17.47 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 4 Apr 2023 11.00 BST”},{“id”:”642c1cb58f08c2cb8d357059″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Donald Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina has been on television and said the former president wouldn’t plead guilty to lesser charges, even if it could resolve the case.

“,”elementId”:”546525c6-d7c5-4b8a-be90-5b240e43d48d”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Associated Press report he said he didn’t believe the case would ever make it to a jury, but he conceded: “Really, there’s a lot of mystery here because we’re doing something that’s never been done before.”

“,”elementId”:”083fb32d-8a82-432c-a76f-a408db8d1881″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

“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.”

“,”elementId”:”46428c4b-68a2-4d6c-8971-c97bb5de5be5″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1680612533000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”13.48 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1680622928000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”16.42 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1680612594000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.49 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.49″,”title”:”Trump lawyer says former president won’t consider plea deal”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 4 Apr 2023 17.47 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 4 Apr 2023 11.00 BST”},{“id”:”642c158e8f08e98d20f7242d”,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Here is a reminder, courtesy of Reuters, of the timeline of how we got to today:

“,”elementId”:”464da008-86e5-44a1-9534-7dc5a8d60d8e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

January 2018 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in October 2016 to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Trump has consistently denied having an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

“,”elementId”:”0e726c3a-e941-4911-802f-8a03d2ec3091″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

February 2018Michael Cohen, a former private lawyer and fixer for Trump, says he paid Daniels using his own money and was not directed by Trump’s company or campaign to make the payment. He said Trump never reimbursed him for the payment. Cohen would later contradict both statements under oath, stating Trump did in fact direct him to make the payment and reimbursed him.

“,”elementId”:”559d2b27-b8f8-488e-809f-78c29309c2de”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

April 2018 – Trump, when asked by reporters if he knew about the payment to Daniels, responded, “No.” Asked why Cohen made the payment, Trump said, “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”

“,”elementId”:”cb6a2743-86f1-4cf9-af58-cfb9c200d940″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

May 2018 – In an ethics disclosure, Trump acknowledges reimbursing Cohen for the $130,000 paid for Daniels.

“,”elementId”:”c3c627b0-7dd1-4214-b1b1-eeec44719c6b”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

August 2018 – Cohen pleads guilty to criminal charges in Manhattan federal court, including campaign finance violations over the hush money payments. He testified that Trump directed him to make the payments “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”.

“,”elementId”:”88d7e127-535e-4c44-abc4-2c18c85e6020″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

August 2019Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney at the time, issues a subpoena to the Trump Organization for records of hush money payments.

“,”elementId”:”e857a4e0-1116-49e1-856f-473c4267cebc”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

July 2021 – Vance’s office indicts the Trump Organization and its top financial executive on tax fraud charges. Trump himself is not charged with a crime, and the indictment contains no references to hush money payments.

“,”elementId”:”84291c7f-4c15-4282-9b66-0089259f9dbc”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

December 2022 – The Trump Organization is found guilty of tax fraud after a trial in New York state court in Manhattan.

“,”elementId”:”a5d85be2-8cc8-442d-95b9-c9ac823fc5d6″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

January 2023 – Having replaced Vance as district attorney, Alvin Bragg’s office begins presenting evidence about Trump’s alleged role in the 2016 hush money payments to a grand jury.

“,”elementId”:”e4930c12-eb18-45e5-a10f-42ed921ec76c”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

March 2023 – Manhattan prosecutors invite Trump to testify before the grand jury, which legal experts say is a sign an indictment could come soon. Cohen testifies before the grand jury.

“,”elementId”:”830ac9b6-8eb3-47e6-8272-3b5ea65a679e”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

18 March 2023 – Trump says on his social media platform Truth Social that he expects to be arrested on 21 March and calls on his supporters to protest. A spokesperson for Trump said the former president had not been notified of any arrest.

“,”elementId”:”ac95ef64-6a42-4b07-bef2-537f1b64bcd0″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

23 March 2023 – Bragg’s office says Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested, and tells Republican congressmen seeking communications, documents and testimony about the probe that they were interfering with an ongoing investigation.

“,”elementId”:”9d2d0db1-f2ac-4a5b-bc5b-77b162a39a52″},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

24 March 2023 – Trump warns of potential “death and destruction” if he is charged with a crime.

“,”elementId”:”621503e5-b7e5-413b-9167-d72e1ff01ced”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

30 March 2023 – Media reports say Trump is indicted.

“,”elementId”:”d888658a-0e5a-4d5c-b1eb-60d7dc2c8e49″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:true,”summary”:false},”blockCreatedOn”:1680610702000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”13.18 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1680623051000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”16.44 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1680611191000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”13.26 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”13.26″,”title”:”From hush money news to criminal court: brief timeline”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 4 Apr 2023 17.47 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 4 Apr 2023 11.00 BST”},{“id”:”642bd1008f082fad6b846eb8″,”elements”:[{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

Welcome to our live coverage of what is set to be an historic day in US politics, with Donald Trump due to appear in a New York courthouse as the first American president to be indicted on a criminal charge. Here is what we know so far …

“,”elementId”:”4847f391-b5df-49c8-922b-f3efaaedd19a”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

    n

  • At about 14.15 ET (18.15 GMT / 19.15 BST) on Tuesday, he will appear at the courthouse where a grand jury convened by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg handed down its indictment last week, to learn the exact details of which laws he is alleged to have broken.

  • n

  • At his arraignment, he is expected to be photographed and fingerprinted, but will not be handcuffed per an agreement his legal team reached with Bragg, Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina said last week.

  • n

  • Trump’s lawyers opposed videography, photography and radio coverage of the arraignment, saying it would “exacerbate an already almost circus-like atmosphere around this case”.

  • n

  • Late on Monday, Judge Juan Merchan ruled that five photographers would be admitted for several minutes before the arraignment, with TV cameras allowed only in the hallways of the building.

  • n

  • Important details of the case could be revealed before Trump sets foot in the courtroom. Media organizations have petitioned Merchan to make public Bragg’s indictment, which reportedly contains upwards of 30 charges and at least one felony related to the hush money payment he facilitated to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

  • n

  • A protest by Trump supporters is expected to be held a few streets away from the Manhattan criminal court at noon ET (16.00 GMT / 17.00 BST).

  • n

  • Trump is expected to leave New York as soon as the hearing has finished, and has will deliver remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, at 8.15pm ET (12.15am GMT / 1.15am BST). He may be limited in what he can say if the judge decides to issue a gag order on those involved in the case.

  • n

“,”elementId”:”f2b7080d-2d89-4564-8858-e3cd87f7dd4d”},{“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.TextBlockElement”,”html”:”

I’m Martin Belam in London, and I’ll be bringing you all the latest reaction as the day builds to Trump’s court appearance.

“,”elementId”:”85a7eab2-e0c8-42c6-8d24-e4792bec4a55″}],”attributes”:{“pinned”:false,”keyEvent”:false,”summary”:true},”blockCreatedOn”:1680602443000,”blockCreatedOnDisplay”:”11.00 BST”,”blockLastUpdated”:1680608139000,”blockLastUpdatedDisplay”:”12.35 BST”,”blockFirstPublished”:1680602443000,”blockFirstPublishedDisplay”:”11.00 BST”,”blockFirstPublishedDisplayNoTimezone”:”11.00″,”title”:”What we know so far …”,”contributors”:[],”primaryDateLine”:”Tue 4 Apr 2023 17.47 BST”,”secondaryDateLine”:”First published on Tue 4 Apr 2023 11.00 BST”}],”filterKeyEvents”:false,”format”:{“display”:0,”theme”:0,”design”:10},”id”:”key-events-carousel-mobile”}”>

Key events

Please turn on JavaScript to use this feature

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

When Donald Trump arrived in New York yesterday he entered his Trump Tower skyscraper alone, with his wife, Melania, noticeably absent.

Now there are some reports that she just turned up, so we’ll bring you any other news on that as it emerges.

Melania Trump seen arriving at Trump Towers in New York City 👁️

🔴 Insiders recently claim that the Trumps could be heading for divorce.#MelaniaTrump #TrumpArraignment #TrumpIndictment https://t.co/7ubSsiGGYa

— MirrorUSNews (@MirrorUSNews) April 4, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/MirrorUSNews/status/1643291476929961997″,”id”:”1643291476929961997″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”a03165cd-3a71-4cfc-9f53-4cfd80f0ea69″}}”>

Joanna Walters

Joanna Walters

Outside the criminal court building in lower Manhattan, handfuls of protesters and a scrum of media are in a brief news vacuum as they await the arrival of Donald Trump.

The former president has not left Trump Tower uptown on Fifth Avenue yet, despite some reports that he would surrender to the authorities downtown at 11am. So we wait.

In true New York City style, there’s a lot of scaffolding around, a mix of poles and roughly painted wooden panels that ends up casting shade, trapping garbage, hindering navigation on the sidewalk and giving the location an even less salubrious environment than usual.

The interior of the building is not exactly cathedral-like splendor, either. For defendants it’s generally a sobering and dispiriting experience to be arraigned here – an arraignment being the first appearance in front of a judge after being arrested or surrendering to authorities, to hear the criminal charges against you.

The scene is colorful and a little chaotic.

A “Trump or Death” flag. Who says it’s not a cult? #Trump #TrumpArraignment pic.twitter.com/lvzX2LcwQl

— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/1643259589129916416″,”id”:”1643259589129916416″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”f96dbcfa-6415-4eac-bd6c-b5f7b3a34dde”}}”>

Here’s “Hillary” and a fan.

“All this is just a big show,” Gregory Williams, a 57-year-old Bronx resident, told @nateschweber. “I got the popcorn. This is American theater at its best.” https://t.co/sxYMW978uT pic.twitter.com/j4Knz3XJ0B

— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/nickconfessore/status/1643260808758013952″,”id”:”1643260808758013952″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”f6824c5a-aa40-4e96-a664-5e9f2a52432f”}}”>

Protesters:

Anti-Trump protesters being kept separate from Trumpers. #TrumpArraignment pic.twitter.com/bVhi1tX5UW

— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/DavidCornDC/status/1643260523985747970″,”id”:”1643260523985747970″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”fdb4cbc8-8003-4d7f-845d-b71d82446032″}}”>

Protesters:

Police seem to have separated pro and anti-Trump protesters here in front of the court house. Both sides yelling at each other, chanting etc pic.twitter.com/9yANVxsObn

— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/ShelbyTalcott/status/1643274895919284228″,”id”:”1643274895919284228″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”73821c5b-7393-4a3a-9426-b35f6f296371″}}”>

Police seem to have separated pro and anti-Trump protesters here in front of the court house. Both sides yelling at each other, chanting etc pic.twitter.com/9yANVxsObn

— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) April 4, 2023

The Guardian’s Sam Levine is on the ground in Wisconsin, where voters are heading to the polls to choose the newest member of the state supreme court.

The court is expected to soon weigh in on whether an abortion ban dating back to 1849 should be enforced after the US supreme court ruled to overturn Roe v Wade last summer.

And abortion access appears to be weighing heavily on the minds of Wisconsin voters as they cast their ballots today:

Voters are pouring in at a steady clip at a polling place in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin this morning. Every voter I spoke with pointed to abortion as their number 1 issue in today’s state Supreme Court race

— Sam Levine (@srl) April 4, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/srl/status/1643278437631635457?s=20″,”id”:”1643278437631635457″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”5b113bc9-ac14-4805-884a-05d9a5a74417″}}”>

Voters are pouring in at a steady clip at a polling place in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin this morning. Every voter I spoke with pointed to abortion as their number 1 issue in today’s state Supreme Court race

— Sam Levine (@srl) April 4, 2023

Some of Donald Trump’s supporters have gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse where he will be arraigned this afternoon, but a handful of the former president’s critics are also on the scene.

One anti-Trump protester was photographed holding a sign that read: “Lock him up!” During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump rally attendees frequently chanted: “Lock her up!” in reference to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of sensitive government emails.

a protester wearing a Trump mask and convict costume and another with a sign saying lock him up
Anti-Trump protesters demonstrate outside Manhattan Criminal Courthouse. Photograph: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

Another anti-Trump protester held a sign reading, “Trump 4 Prison”. As of now, Trump is still the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, and the indictment does not prevent him from seeking office.

An anti-Trump protester holds a sign outside Manhattan Criminal Courthouse saying Trump 4 prison
An anti-Trump protester holds a sign outside Manhattan Criminal Courthouse. Photograph: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

It remains unclear whether Donald Trump will get his mug shot taken when he is processed by New York authorities today, but one new report suggests he will not.

Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff reported yesterday that Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records, and noted that the Manhattan district attorney’s office had decided against getting a mug shot of the former president:

[One] source said, Trump will not be put in handcuffs, placed in a jail cell or subjected to a mug shot – typical procedures even for white-collar defendants until a judge has weighed in on pretrial conditions. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which has been consulting with the Secret Service and New York City court officials, concluded there was no reason to subject the former president to handcuffs or a mug shot.

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell previously reported that Trump hoped to be handcuffed because he wanted to turn the arrest and arraignment into a “spectacle”.

Progressive congressman Jamaal Bowman of New York was spotted outside the courthouse where Donald Trump will be arraigned this afternoon.

Bowman told Semafor that he felt compelled to make an appearance because he wanted to push back against the rhetoric he’s heard from one of his House colleagues, far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

“She should not be here,” Bowman told Semafor’s Kadia Goba. “She should not be pushing rhetoric that is harmful and dangerous.”

Spoke to Rep. Jamaal Bowman earlier who said he came out to push back in against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. “She should not be here and she should not be pushing rhetoric that is harmful and dangerous.” pic.twitter.com/K3r4GDx7MM

— Kadia Goba (@kadiagoba) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/kadiagoba/status/1643269129137258496″,”id”:”1643269129137258496″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”a081eba6-9120-45c7-b742-28bdfd55f7cc”}}”>

Spoke to Rep. Jamaal Bowman earlier who said he came out to push back in against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. “She should not be here and she should not be pushing rhetoric that is harmful and dangerous.” pic.twitter.com/K3r4GDx7MM

— Kadia Goba (@kadiagoba) April 4, 2023

Wisconsin voters cast ballots in one of the year’s most important elections

Sam Levine

Sam Levine

Voters in Wisconsin are casting ballots today in one of the most important elections of 2023 – a contest that will determine the ideological balance of the state’s supreme court.

The court will probably determine the future of abortion in Wisconsin and it is also poised to play a hugely consequential role in setting election rules for the 2024 presidential election in the critical battleground state.

The race is the most expensive judicial race in American history. More than $45m has been spent, shattering the $10m record that was spent in Wisconsin in 2020 as well as the national record $15m spent on an Illinois race in 2004.

The Guardian’s Sam Levine and Alice Herman are on the ground in Wisconsin talking to voters throughout the day.

Polls are open in Wisconsin! pic.twitter.com/E8vb8x32Dk

— Alice Herman (@aliceraeherman) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/aliceraeherman/status/1643262827946287108?s=20″,”id”:”1643262827946287108″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”d2c49b26-d3b9-4f4f-8339-28ed0f84135a”}}”>

Far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has arrived at a pro-Trump rally near the Manhattan courthouse where he will be arraigned this afternoon.

Dozens of reporters swarmed around Greene as she arrived, and journalists appeared to far outnumber attendees at the rally.

Jess Bidgood, a reporter for the Boston Globe, joked, “I would estimate a 1,000: 1 reporter to protester ratio here at the Marjorie Taylor Greene rally.”

I would estimate a 1,000: 1 reporter to protester ratio here at the Marjorie Taylor Greene rally pic.twitter.com/WlcPzQvo1S

— Jess Bidgood (@jessbidgood) April 4, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/jessbidgood/status/1643262522433196033″,”id”:”1643262522433196033″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”14a0d98d-c856-4518-9292-530e183a99ff”}}”>

Although much of today’s news cycle is focused on Donald Trump’s arraignment, there are other major developments happening today in both domestic and international news.

On the domestic front, Wisconsin and Chicago will hold crucial elections today. Wisconsin voters will head to the polls to choose a new member of the state supreme court, after a conservative judge stepped down. If liberal judge Janet Protasiewicz wins the race, she could flip majority control of the court.

Meanwhile, Chicago voters will choose their next mayor, after incumbent Democrat Lori Lightfoot failed to qualify for today’s runoff race.

In major international news, Finland has formally joined Nato, becoming the 31st member of the alliance. The Finnish flag was raised outside the Nato headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, earlier today:

Finland's flag is raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels as it officially becomes a member of NATO. Finland is now the 31st member of NATO. pic.twitter.com/fE9D6LvFFQ

— CSPAN (@cspan) April 4, 2023

n”,”url”:”https://twitter.com/cspan/status/1643256997578514433″,”id”:”1643256997578514433″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”f8a497cf-0582-4a25-8951-60789be7d456″}}”>

Finland’s flag is raised at NATO headquarters in Brussels as it officially becomes a member of NATO. Finland is now the 31st member of NATO. pic.twitter.com/fE9D6LvFFQ

— CSPAN (@cspan) April 4, 2023

Trump arraignment will get under way soon

Donald Trump’s arraignment is scheduled to take place in a few hours. Here’s what we know so far:

  • Trump will be arraigned at 2.15pm ET at a courthouse in lower Manhattan. At the arraignment, Trump is expected to plead not guilty to all charges linked to his involvement in a hush-money scheme during the 2016 election. After the arraignment, Trump will likely be allowed to return home to Florida.

  • Trump is expected to be arrested and processed shortly before his arraignment. As part of his arrest, Trump will be fingerprinted and likely photographed, but his lawyer has said he does not expect Trump to be handcuffed.

  • Trump is scheduled to deliver remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort at 8.15pm ET. The former president has already aggressively dismissed any suggestion of wrongdoing on his part, and he will likely only intensify his attacks on prosecutors after being arraigned.

  • No electronic devices will be allowed in the courtroom. The judge overseeing the case, New York supreme court Justice Juan Merchan, issued a ruling late last night that only a handful of still photographers would be allowed to take pictures inside the room.

  • Reporters lined up outside the courthouse overnight in the hopes of getting a seat in the arraignment room. Several dozen reporters are expected to be allowed inside the room to witness the unprecedented event of a former US president formally responding to criminal charges.

  • A trial may still be months away. Once Trump enters his initial plea, Merchan will likely set a schedule for pre-trial hearings, but it may take several months for the actual trial to begin.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

Congressman George Santos, the Republican who has faced widespread criticism for misrepresenting seemingly every aspect of his resume and biography, has been spotted outside the courthouse in Manhattan.

Reports indicate that Santos plans to attend the nearby pro-Trump rally being held by the New York Young Republican Club, where far-right congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene is expected to speak.

Reporters have waited for hours outside the courthouse in lower Manhattan, hoping to get a seat in the room where Donald Trump will be arraigned this afternoon.

But not everyone near the courthouse is particularly interested in the unprecedented event of a former US president facing criminal charges.

Reporter Soo Youn, a Guardian contributor, shared this photo of a couple getting married next door to the courthouse this morning:

Good morning from downtown Manhattan where this lovely couple is getting married right next door to the media scrum waiting for the Trump indictment. pic.twitter.com/vJxcxZDgKX

— Soo Youn (@lalasoo) April 4, 2023

“,”url”:”https://twitter.com/lalasoo/status/1643235754389168130″,”id”:”1643235754389168130″,”hasMedia”:false,”role”:”inline”,”isThirdPartyTracking”:false,”source”:”Twitter”,”elementId”:”36cdab8d-2f21-4c70-96c5-3bb55e7fbb3a”}}”>

Good morning from downtown Manhattan where this lovely couple is getting married right next door to the media scrum waiting for the Trump indictment. pic.twitter.com/vJxcxZDgKX

— Soo Youn (@lalasoo) April 4, 2023

This is Joan E Greve in Washington, taking over for Martin Belam. Donald Trump will soon appear at an arraignment in Manhattan, where he will formally respond to charges over his involvement in a hush-money scheme during the 2016 election.

Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, has indicated the former president will plead not guilty to all charges, and he will then likely be allowed to return to his home in Florida. Trump plans to deliver a speech defending himself at his Mar-a-Lago resort this evening.

The live blog will have updates and analysis as the arraignment gets underway, so stay tuned.

Trump lawyer says former president won’t consider plea deal

Donald Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina has been on television and said the former president wouldn’t plead guilty to lesser charges, even if it could resolve the case.

Associated Press report he said he didn’t believe the case would ever make it to a jury, but he conceded: “Really, there’s a lot of mystery here because we’re doing something that’s never been done before.”

“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.”

From hush money news to criminal court: brief timeline

Here is a reminder, courtesy of Reuters, of the timeline of how we got to today:

January 2018 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in October 2016 to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Trump has consistently denied having an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

February 2018Michael Cohen, a former private lawyer and fixer for Trump, says he paid Daniels using his own money and was not directed by Trump’s company or campaign to make the payment. He said Trump never reimbursed him for the payment. Cohen would later contradict both statements under oath, stating Trump did in fact direct him to make the payment and reimbursed him.

April 2018 – Trump, when asked by reporters if he knew about the payment to Daniels, responded, “No.” Asked why Cohen made the payment, Trump said, “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”

May 2018 – In an ethics disclosure, Trump acknowledges reimbursing Cohen for the $130,000 paid for Daniels.

August 2018 – Cohen pleads guilty to criminal charges in Manhattan federal court, including campaign finance violations over the hush money payments. He testified that Trump directed him to make the payments “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”.

August 2019Cyrus Vance, the Manhattan district attorney at the time, issues a subpoena to the Trump Organization for records of hush money payments.

July 2021 – Vance’s office indicts the Trump Organization and its top financial executive on tax fraud charges. Trump himself is not charged with a crime, and the indictment contains no references to hush money payments.

December 2022 – The Trump Organization is found guilty of tax fraud after a trial in New York state court in Manhattan.

January 2023 – Having replaced Vance as district attorney, Alvin Bragg’s office begins presenting evidence about Trump’s alleged role in the 2016 hush money payments to a grand jury.

March 2023 – Manhattan prosecutors invite Trump to testify before the grand jury, which legal experts say is a sign an indictment could come soon. Cohen testifies before the grand jury.

18 March 2023 – Trump says on his social media platform Truth Social that he expects to be arrested on 21 March and calls on his supporters to protest. A spokesperson for Trump said the former president had not been notified of any arrest.

23 March 2023 – Bragg’s office says Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested, and tells Republican congressmen seeking communications, documents and testimony about the probe that they were interfering with an ongoing investigation.

24 March 2023 – Trump warns of potential “death and destruction” if he is charged with a crime.

30 March 2023 – Media reports say Trump is indicted.

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Kristen Holmes report that sources close to Donald Trump have said that the former president is keen to speak while in New York today, ahead of his already planned speech this evening. They write:

Former President Donald Trump is eager to speak publicly about his indictment, according to multiple people familiar with his thinking.

Though he is not scheduled to speak until he arrives at Mar-a-Lago tonight, Trump has weighed saying something while still in Manhattan. He had initially considered doing so outside the courthouse but decided against that because of security considerations.

It remains unclear if he will talk while in New York, and advisers have urged him to hold off until he has the command of his own ballroom tonight, where hundreds of his supporters, surrogates and friends are expected to gather.

Advisers have warned Trump that any unplanned remarks put him at high risk of hurting his case. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago speech is expected to have legal eyes on it before he delivers it tonight.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.