NEW YORK/PALM BEACH, Fla., April 3 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump flew from Florida to New York City on Monday, ahead of a 2016 impeachment inquiry into his silence on the release of a porn star. The election, as security tightened in Manhattan.
Trump, the first former US president to face criminal charges, was charged, framed and photographed in a downtown Manhattan square on Tuesday. His lawyers said he would enter a plea of not guilty.
The specific charges included in the grand jury have not been disclosed; Tuesday’s indictment marks Trump’s first appearance in court and before a judge in the case.
The Republican businessman-turned-politician arrived on his way from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach on Monday afternoon, later in New York, and stayed overnight at Trump Tower in Manhattan before going to the market on Tuesday morning, the adviser said.
The prosecution official said at 2:15 pm (1815 GMT) on Tuesday. Trump will return to Florida and deliver remarks at Mar-a-Lago at 8:15 pm on Tuesday (0015 GMT on Wednesday), his office said.
New York City police began manning sidewalks around Trump Tower and the Manhattan Criminal Court building in midtown over the weekend, and some other courts will be open.
Demonstrations are expected in those areas and police vows are being prepared. “Officers are alert and the department remains ready to respond and ensure that everyone can exercise their rights peacefully,” the New York Police Department said in a statement.
Other courts on the upper floor of the court will be closed before the arraignment as part of security measures, a court official said.
US Representative Marjorie Taylor invited Greene on Sunday to join her in a protest near the square on Tuesday, saying “They’re not coming after President Trump, they’re coming after us, just in the street.”
SEND THE TRUMPET OF THE JUDGE HOPE
Before the indictment, a grand jury heard testimony about a $130,000 payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels said she was paid to remain silent about a meeting she had with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006. Trump denies the incident.
Trump, 76, served as president from 2017 to 2021 and announced in November that he intends to regain the presidency in 2024, seeking to deny Democratic incumbent Joe Biden a second term in office.
Word of the indictment, stemming from an investigation by Democratic Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, emerged last Thursday. Trump has pleaded not guilty and that he and his associates have described the crimes as a matter of public interest.
Joe Tacopina, Trump’s lawyer, said on Sunday that he expects more information about the impeachment to be released and noted that the Secret Service, which protects former presidents, will also play a role on Tuesday. Tacopina said that it would be inappropriate to have a “perp walk” – a perp activity pioneer – in which someone who has been accused is prepared in front of the news media because of the security situation.
Tacopina added that Trump’s lawyers “will learn” that the indictment has been published once it has been published and will challenge “every possible outlet,” adding that he anticipates at some point a move to drop the charges.
“I honestly don’t know how this is going to go – I hope it’s as smooth as it can be – and then we start fighting to get this wrong,” Tacopina told CNN’s “State of the Union” reporter about the impeachment program.
Trump is expected to appear before Justice Juan Merchan, the judge who also presided over the criminal trial last year in which Trump’s real estate company was convicted of tax fraud. Trump himself has not been charged in the case.
A court official said on Sunday that the judge had asked both parties to submit their statements on camera and that they should be seen in court and decide on the case on Monday.
Reporting by Rich McKay in Beach, Florida and Karen Freifeld in New York; Additional reporting by Jonathan Allen, Jeenah Moon and David Dee Delgado in New York Writing by Will Dunham Editing by Heather Timmons and Matthew Lewis
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