WATERLOO – The arraignment of an ex-president is an unusual legal occurrence, and Donald Trump and his friends are attempting to turn it into a political spectacle over the next two days.
Along with delivering a prime-time speech from his South Florida residence on Tuesday, hours after the arraignment in New York City, Trump, and his staff also intend to constantly denounce the indictment and advertise his bid for the presidency in 2024 while he is traveling to and from the courthouse.
“This is not how America was supposed to be!” Trump stated late on Sunday in a post on Truth Social. Trump commented on his Truth Social account on Sunday.
The indictment has already been used by the Trump campaign to raise money.
Trump campaign advisers stated that while details are still being negotiated, here are some of the things to anticipate.
Trump is scheduled to fly to New York on Monday
Leaving his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, to New York City at noon on Monday, Trump plans to travel with his Secret Service detail, he said in a post on Facebook Social. His long-owned apartment in the Trump Tower in Manhattan will be where he spends the night, according to advisers.
The departure is slated for midday, and the exact timing will not be kept a secret for long.
Television cameras from across the world are aimed at Trump’s jet at a South Florida airport, and video of him boarding is almost certain to emerge.
Trump may also stop to chat with reporters at some point during the trip.
Trump will appear in court in New York on Tuesday
The journey to the courthouse is anticipated to take place around Tuesday morning, according to aides, with specifics still being worked out.
One of those details is whether Trump will appear in court in front of fans who are likely to assemble to protest the indictment. The protests have raised security concerns, and officials may be able to get Trump into the courthouse through basement doors.
Will Trump let a perp walk?
The idea that the former president might be forced to participate in a “perp walk,” which is when a defendant is customarily escorted into the courthouse accompanied by law enforcement officers for the benefit of cameras, was resisted by Trump’s legal team.
According to Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina, “I hope this will be as painless and elegant as possible for a situation like this,” on CNN’s State of the Union.
Will Trump take a mug shot and fingerprints?
Trump will likely be handled similarly to the majority of defendants in his condition once inside the courtroom: he will be booked, fingerprinted, and DNA-swabbed before being seated for mug photographs that will undoubtedly be sent around the world.
The only scheduled court proceeding is the arraignment, which will take place on Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. Trump is anticipated to enter a not-guilty plea.
Trump will leave New York shortly after that for Mar-a-Lago to give the lone political event currently scheduled: the Tuesday 8:15 p.m. speech.
The Trump campaign is making a political case
Along the way, it is expected that Trump and his associates would wage a campaign against the indictment, arguing that the case involving hush money and campaign finance rules is an attempt to harm Trump for political reasons.
The Trump campaign intends to target Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, in interviews, public speeches, and social media posts.
The Trump team produced a “polling memo” over the weekend suggesting that Republican voters are rallying behind him. According to the letter, Trump received a “significant advantage over his opponents in full-field and one-on-one primary election ballot tests.”
Several Republicans running in 2024 weigh in as well
The majority of the Republican candidates for president who intend to run against Trump have likewise criticized the indictment, but there is at least one exception.
Trump should withdraw from the race while facing charges, according to the former governor of Arkansas and Republican candidate for president in 2024 Asa Hutchinson.
He said on the associated press’s “This Week”: “I do think that’s too much of a sideshow and distraction.” And there is a presumption of innocence, so he needs to be allowed to focus on his due process.
Surveys reveal conflicting opinions regarding the Trump strategy
The arraignment and related events might only be the beginning of Trump’s legal and political battle; he is also being investigated in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., for handling classified documents, for attempting to rig the 2020 election, and for any possible involvement in the uprising of January 6, 2021.
Following the New York indictment, early polls indicate a split electorate as Trump formulates his political blueprint.
An the associated press News/Ipsos survey issued on Sunday: Republicans and Democrats both agree that the former president should not have been charged, with Democrats holding a majority of 88%.
The poll reveals that a majority of Americans are taking the indictment seriously: 50% of respondents believe that the charges against Trump are serious, compared to 35% who believe they are not.
What exactly is Trump accused of?
While the specific charges remain unknown for the time being, prosecutors have concluded that they can prove a criminal case against Trump due to the apparent deception surrounding a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep her from publicizing her claim about a sexual encounter with Trump. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid with a home equity line of credit.
Trump insisted in April 2018 that he was unaware of the hush money, but Cohen provided Congress with a series of check images signed by Trump, indicating payments to Cohen that he claimed were reimbursements for the money he laid out, including at least two that occurred while Trump was in the White House. Trump and his company, according to Cohen, hid the purpose of the payments by falsely identifying them as legal expenditures.
Disguising such contributions in company documents is a crime under New York law, but it is usually only a misdemeanor. If the fraudulent business records were designed to conceal a second offense, it becomes a felony. In this case, the alleged breach of campaign finance regulations appears to be the use of cash to boost Trump’s presidential campaign.
The timing of the money being paid to Daniels’ lawyer on Oct. 27, 2016, just days before the 2016 presidential election, maybe the greatest proof of such a nexus to politics.