Former United States President Donald Trump is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, as confirmed by his lawyers and court officials on Friday. The charges against him stem from a hush money case, where he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about their alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
According to reports, a grand jury heard testimony from witnesses before voting on Thursday to indict the 76-year-old. The case has been ongoing for several years, with Daniels alleging that she and Trump had an extramarital affair in 2006, which Trump denied.
The indictment marks a significant development in the case, which has been closely watched by both Trump supporters and critics. If found guilty, Trump could face severe legal consequences, including fines and imprisonment.
Lawyer says no handcuffs will be put on
Donald Trump is the first former president of the US to face criminal charges. His lawyer, Joe Tacopina, confirmed that Trump will be arraigned but will not be held in handcuffs during the process. Tacopina also stated that Trump is ready to fight the charges brought against him.
Despite not being held in handcuffs, Trump’s mugshot and fingerprints will be taken. The former president is likely to have Secret Service protection and is expected to be released on the same day.
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According to David Shapiro, a former FBI agent and specialist in financial crimes, Trump might be interested in handcuffs as it would increase the gravity, victimisation, and martyrdom of the situation. It would also make him appear like a dangerous criminal or a mobster of the 21st century.
The hearing is scheduled to take place at 2:15 p.m. local time, and security is being coordinated by the FBI, NYPD, Secret Service, and New York City court officers.
Tacopina has confirmed that the former president will “probably” appear in court on Tuesday, but nothing is certain.
All about the charges
While the exact charges against former President Donald Trump have not been publicly disclosed, a New York judge authorised Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Friday to make them public. According to legal expert David Shapiro, Trump is likely facing class E felonies, which carry a maximum prison sentence of up to four years.
Shapiro further commented that based on public reporting, the charges could include conspiracy, falsification of business records, campaign finance disclosure fraud, insurance fraud, and tax fraud. These are serious allegations that could potentially have far-reaching consequences for Trump’s political and personal future.
Trump’s words on the allegation
Donald Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election, has denied the accusations against him and claimed they were politically motivated. In recent weeks, he has used multiple legal threats to rally his supporters and raise money for his campaign. Despite the charges, criminal charges in the US do not prevent candidates from running for an election.
In a fundraising email on Friday, Trump said, “I am not afraid of what’s to come.” Daniels, who alleges to have had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, told UK newspaper The Times that she was “proud” of the indictment. She also criticised Trump for his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack and his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.
Trump is also the subject of other criminal investigations, including allegations of his involvement in the Capitol attack and his handling of confidential documents.
Trump is facing over 30 counts of business fraud, according to media reports. However, Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, recently stated that he was not certain of the exact number of charges his client faces. Tacopina has previously claimed that he believed there would be 34 charges against Trump.
Meanwhile, the US Capitol Police have warned of potential protests across the country and increased security measures at the US Capitol. This comes as Georgia prosecutors are reportedly expected to decide soon whether to indict Trump over allegations that he attempted to overturn his election defeat in the state.