Former US president Donald Trump is "gearing up for a fight" ahead of his Tuesday court appearance, according to his attorney. On Monday, Mr. Trump is likely to fly from Mar-a-Lago to New York City to face charges connected to hush money payments made to a pornstar.
Following his court appearance, he intends to return to Florida, where he will address his followers. Mr. Trump has persistently denied wrongdoing. His attorney, Joseph Tacopina, pledged to fiercely defend the former president against any charges. Mr. Tacopina told sources, "He's someone who will be prepared for this fight." "We are prepared for this battle. And I look forward to expediting this matter to exonerate him as soon as possible."
According to sources, Mr. Trump will face more than 30 corporate fraud charges linked to a $130,000 (£105,000) payment made to Stormy Daniels in 2016 in an attempt to purchase her silence regarding an alleged romance. According to sources acquainted with the investigation, the former president is charged with fabricating corporate documents in the first degree, which is a crime under US law.
Information regarding the charges, including their nature and number, remain under secrecy. Mr. Tacopina has stated that he has not yet viewed the charges for himself. Mr. Trump allegedly met with his aides and legal staff to outline his defense prior to his Monday departure to New York.
The former president would be accompanied to New York by officers of the United States Secret Service. This was mentioned by law enforcement officials. He is anticipated to surrender to authorities on Tuesday, with a hearing scheduled at 14:15 (21:15 BST) in Manhattan.
Judge Juan Merchan will preside over the criminal arraignment of Mr. Trump. According to his attorney, the courthouse in Manhattan will be closed in the afternoon for the hearing. Mr. Tacopina clarified that the former president will not be handcuffed, but that other elements of the arraignment remain unknown. He also said that he hoped that they would be in and out of the courthouse quickly.
The FBI, New York City court officers, and the Secret Service, among other law enforcement agencies, have been preparing for Tuesday. The New York Police Department has reportedly increased security precautions in anticipation of citywide demonstrations.
A rally for Mr. Trump with Republican House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is scheduled for Tuesday at noon in New York, inviting supporters to participate in a "peaceful protest" against the indictment. After his hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Trump is due to return to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, where he has announced he will deliver a speech at 20:15 EST.
Over a dozen of Mr. Trump's followers gathered outside his Florida home over the weekend, waving "Trump 2024" flags and banners at passing vehicles, many of whom honked their horns in both support and criticism. Other Republicans, including House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have come out in favor of him and accused the district attorney of using the criminal justice system as a weapon to affect the outcome of the presidential election next year.
In response, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated that the charges were filed by New York residents performing their civic duty and that neither the former president nor Congress could interfere with the process.