Former United States President Donald Trump has arrived in New York City for his first scheduled court appearance to face charges related to a hush-money payment made to an adult film actress before the 2016 presidential election.
Trump, the first former president to be criminally prosecuted, is expected to be fingerprinted, photographed and formally presented with the charges against him at the central Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday.
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His plane landed at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Monday afternoon.
“HEADING TO NEW YORK. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!” Trump, who is seeking re-election in 2024, wrote on his Truth Social platform on Monday before leaving Florida.
“WITCH HUNT, as our once great Country is going to HELL!”
Trump later posted footage of supporters cheering on his convoy in Florida and asked for donations to his presidential campaign.
A New York grand jury indicted Trump last week in the case, which the former president has rejected as a form of political persecution, and his lawyers have said he will enter a plea of not guilty. None of the charges have been disclosed publicly.
The New York investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg centres on a $130,000 payment that Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
A court official said the arraignment is planned for 2:15pm local time (18:15 GMT) on Tuesday. Trump will then return to Florida and deliver remarks at Mar-a-Lago, his residence in Palm Beach, at 8:15pm (00:15 GMT on Wednesday), his office said.
Over the weekend, police began erecting barricades along the edge of the sidewalks around Trump Tower and the Manhattan Criminal Court building, and some other courtrooms will be cleared. Demonstrations are expected at those sites.
“Officers have been placed on alert and the department remains ready to respond as needed and will ensure everyone is able to peacefully exercise their rights,” the New York Police Department said in a statement.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday cautioned protesters against violence or public disorder.
“Control yourselves. New York City is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger,” Adams said in a message to potential “rabble-rousers”.
In his warning, Adams singled out far-right Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who had announced plans to travel to New York to protest what she called the “unprecedented abuse” of the justice system.
“People like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is known to spread misinformation and hate speech, has stated she’s coming to town,” the mayor said. “While you’re in town, be on your best behaviour.”
Greene had stressed that protesting is a “constitutional right”.
“We will not live in fear and we will lawfully stand against tyranny and corruption while we show our support for President Trump,” she wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Joe Tacopina, a Trump lawyer, said on Sunday that it was unlikely there will be a “perp walk” – perp being a shorthand for perpetrator – in which an individual who has been charged is paraded in front of the media in a public area.
Separately on Sunday, a court official said the judge had asked both sides to submit their positions on whether cameras and video should be allowed in the courtroom and will decide on the issue on Monday.