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Donald Trump to appear in New York court Tuesday

March 31, 2023

The former US president's lawyers said he would surrender at a courthouse but won't be placed in handcuffs. He was indicted in connection to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Donald Trump
The New York indictment came as Trump contends with other investigations that could have grave legal consequencesImage: Evan Vucci/AP Photo/picture alliance

Former US President Donald Trump will appear in a New York courthouse on Tuesday to face charges in a hush- money case, his lawyers and court officials confirmed on Friday. 

After hearing witnesses, a grand jury voted on Thursday to indict the 76-year-old over paying adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to avoid a scandal ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

Is the US legal system being 'weaponized' against Trump?

No handcuffs, says lawyer

Trump, the first former US president to face criminal charges, will be arraigned on Tuesday. Joe Tacopina, one of Trump's lawyers, said he would have his mugshot and fingerprints taken but won't be held in handcuffs. 

"He's ready to fight. He's gearing up," Tacopina was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency. 

Trump is likely to have Secret Service protection and is expected to be released on the same day. 

David Shapiro, a former FBI agent and a specialist in financial crimes, told DW that Trump might actually be more interested in handcuffs than his lawyers say.

"It increases the gravity, the victimization, the martyrdom, and it makes him appear as if he's a dangerous criminal, a mobster of the 21st century," he said.  

What do we know about the charges?

The exact charges against Trump have not yet been made public. But according to Reuters, a New York judge has authorized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Friday to make the charges public.

Shapiro said Trump appeared to be facing class E felonies, which could expose him to up to four years in jail. 

"Based on the public reporting, I envision a set of charges that include conspiracy, falsification of business records, campaign finance disclosure fraud, insurance fraud and tax fraud," Shapiro said.


What did Trump say about the indictment?

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. 

On Friday, he said in a fundraising email: "I am not afraid of what's to come." Criminal charges in the US do not prevent candidates to run for an election.

Meanwhile, 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. 

"He's already gotten away with inciting a riot, and causing death and destruction," she said, referring to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack. 

Trump is the subject of other criminal investigations into his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election result and his handling of confidential documents. 

The New York Times reported on Friday that Georgia prosecutors were expected to soon make a decision on whether to indict Trump over his alleged efforts to overturn his election defeat in that state.

fb/jcg (AFP, AP, Reuters)