Trump pleads not guilty to criminal charges during historic NY court hearing

Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records tied to the Stormy Daniels hush-money payment.

Trump, 76, was pictured with his shoulders slightly hunched as he took his seat at the defendant’s table in Manhattan Supreme Court ahead of his historic arraignment.

Earlier, the 45th president had defiantly raised his fist as he emerged from his Trump Tower residence in Midtown shortly after 1 p.m. before he was escorted downtown in a motorcade — en route to becoming the first US president to be criminally prosecuted.

“Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!” he posted on Truth Social just moments before turning himself in.

Flanked by Secret Service, Trump — wearing his signature dark suit and red tie — waved before strolling into the DA’s Office to turn himself in.

Unlike most defendants, Trump was booked at the courthouse — and not a police precinct. Once inside, sources told The Post, the ex-president was fingerprinted before he entered the courtroom at 2:30 p.m.

Donald Trump was flanked by his attorneys as his historic arraignment got underway in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday.
Trump in court
Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records tied to the Stormy Daniels hush-money payment.
Donald Trump in court
Trump, 76, speaks with an attorney as his arraignment begins.
Trump in court
Donald Trump, 76, enters Manhattan Supreme Court for his arraignment Tuesday afternoon.
Trump arrives a t100 Centre street for his arraignment.
Donald Trump flashed a wave as he arrived ahead of his arraignment flanked by Secret Service agents.

Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, has already said he will enter a “not guilty” plea when his historic hearing gets underway.

Unlike Trump’s journey to the courthouse — which was tracked by numerous helicopters and carried live on cable TV — his hearing won’t be broadcast to the masses, the judge in the case ruled on Monday night.

Judge Juan Merchan, however, ruled that a handful of photographers could take photos of the proceedings — despite Trump’s lawyers requesting that cameras be banned altogether. 

Outside the court, Trump’s surrender created a spectacle — even by his standards.

Hundreds of protesters, media and a few politicians — including Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and George Santos (R-NY) — swarmed the streets around the courthouse.

Trump's post
Trump was posting from his motorcade before arriving at the courthouse.
Donald Trump
Donald Trump raised his fist as he left Trump Tower just after 1 p.m. Tuesday en route to the Manhattan DA’s Office.
Donald Trump seen at Manhattan Criminal Court.
Trump arrived at the Manhattan Criminal Court just before 1:30 p.m. to surrender.
Donald Trump's motorcade drives on its way to Manhattan Criminal Courthouse
Donald Trump’s motorcade drives to Manhattan Criminal Courthouse.

Anti-Trump protesters chanted “Trump is not above the law” as the ex-president’s black Suburban whizzed by.

Trump became the first president to be hit with criminal charges after a grand jury convened by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg voted last Thursday to indict him in connection with six-figure hush money payments made in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

The exact charges against Trump will remain under seal until the hearing, but sources and reports said the 2024 White House hopeful faces more than 30 felony counts of falsifying business records — a charge that could land him behind bars for up to four years if convicted.

Trump has repeatedly blasted the hush-money case as a politically driven “witch hunt.”

People gather before the arraignment.
People gather outside the courthouse ahead of Trump’s arraignment.
Heavy police presence and hundreds of media outlets are huddled in front of Manhattan Criminal Court in lower Manhattan, awaiting Trump’s arrival.
Heavy police presence and hundreds of media outlets are huddled in front of Manhattan Criminal Court in Lower Manhattan, awaiting Trump’s arrival.

As he was holed up in his namesake skyscraper Monday night, Trump raged on Truth Social that Bragg should be “IMMEDIATELY INDICTED” over what the ex-president claimed were illegal leaks related to his indictment.

His rant continued early Tuesday when he posted that the court was a “very unfair venue” and called for his case to instead be heard in Republican-heavy Staten Island.996

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Bragg is set to address the media following the hearing.

Trump’s lawyers said the former president is also expected to speak to reporters briefly after the hearing ends before hightailing it back to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to give a speech to his supporters Tuesday night.

Per: NYP


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