Former United States President Donald Trump, after the arraignment, Tuesday said that every legal person has said that there is no case and that he has done nothing “illegally”.
“The hearing was shocking to many in that they had no ‘surprises,’ and therefore, no case. Virtually every legal pundit has said that there is no case here. There was nothing done illegally!” Trump said while commenting on his arraignment on ‘Truth Social’. Trump faces criminal charges for his alleged role in 36 felony criminal charges including the hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign to conceal an alleged affair that he has constantly denied.
Tuesday’s Trump arraignment was another high-voltage drama in United States politics. Trump, who became history by being the first former American president to be indicted, has surrendered himself before going to the court.
While Trump surrendered voluntarily, which was unexpected for some as the FBI warned the local and state police agencies around the country about concerns related to a possible indictment, and even New York City officials had planned to closedown major streets in lower Manhattan as a security measure, as reported by ABC News.
In the streets of New York City, police deployed barricades which kept loud pro and anti-Trump protesters apart in a small park near the courthouse where Trump was arraigned, with NYPD officers standing in the middle. Some of the demonstrators could be heard shouting insulting and profanities at each other, according to CNN.
On one side filed with hundreds of supporters of the former president, a man strummed chords on a violin as he stood next to a protester holding a sign saying, “Trump didn’t start any wars!”
But one of the supporters grabbed the attention. A naked cowboy, who usually pose for tourists in time Square, stopped by the court area and showed his support for the former president. He took pictures with backers of the former president, CNN reported.
While, on the other side, placards with “Lock him up!” signs were shown. “Trump is the definition of depravity,” read another sign.
In the courtroom, Trump pleaded ‘not guilty’ to 34 criminal charges against him. And left the courtroom after arraignment but without uttering a word. He then flew to Florida, as per the reports on CNN.
When Trump was leaving for Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, who is also a Democrat held a press conference and even released a statement stating that the former President has been charged with three pre-election hush-money cases.
In the statement, the attorney mentioned three instances of the ‘catch and kill’ scheme in Donald Trump’s indictment.
“In one instance, American Media Inc. (“AMI”), paid USD 30,000 to a former Trump Tower doorman, who claimed to have a story about a child TRUMP had out of wedlock,” Bragg said in a statement.
The attorney also stated that AMI paid USD 150,000 was paid to the woman who claimed to have a sexual relationship with Trump. And former President asked his lawyer to reimburse AMI in cash.
AMI admitted its conduct was unlawful in an agreement with federal prosecutors and made false entries in its business records concerning the true purpose of the USD 150,000 payment.
“In a third instance – 12 days before the presidential general election – the Special Counsel wired USD 130,000 to an attorney for an adult film actress. The Special Counsel, who has since pleaded guilty and served time in prison for making the illegal campaign contribution, made the payment through a shell corporation funded through a bank in Manhattan,” the statement read.
The indictment started with the Manhattan grand jury, who voted to indict the former US President.
Former US President Donald Trump was at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida home and a private club on Thursday when his lawyers said he had been indicted.
Trump has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing and stressed that those probing him were making politically motivated accusations.
In the case of Donald Trump, the indictment was filed behind closed doors at the lower Manhattan courthouse after the clerk’s office was closed for the day.