Trump indictment recap: Trump faces 34 felony charges, and is back at Mar-a-Lago drumming up MAGA support. But the case is shaky and complicated, former prosecutors say.
Former President Donald Trump was arrested on Tuesday.
Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in Manhattan court.
The case comes after a years-long probe into an alleged $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Former prosecutors say DA's case against Trump is shaky
The first-ever indictment of a former US president unveiled Tuesday answered many questions about what crimes Donald Trump is accused of committing.
But New York prosecutors left one detail out that legal experts say will surely be raised by the defense: what other, underlying crime is Trump accused of committing that would justify upgrading the charges against him from misdemeanors to felonies?
Pornhub users searched 'Stormy Daniels' a record 650,000 times as Trump was arraigned
Searches for "Stormy Daniels" surged on Pornhub the day Trump was arraigned, according to a report in TMZ.
The alleged hush-money case around the adult film actress appears to be reminding people of her work.
Pornhub says a record 650,000 people searched her name on the site on Tuesday, per TMZ — up from another peak in March.
Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — appears to be relishing the situation, earlier saying that she'd also seen a bump in merchandise sales.
Trump praised his family in his post-arraignment speech, but didn't mention Melania, who was nowhere to be seen
Melania and Ivanka Trump were both notably absent during Donald Trump's post-arraignment speech at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night.
Donald Jr, Eric and Tiffany Trump and their partners were all pictured at the MAGA-faithful event, during which Trump fumed about the indictment.
During the speech, Trump singled out several family members for praise — but didn't mention his wife.
Melania was last seen dining with Trump the day the indictment was announced, but did not join him to hear the charges in New York.
Ivanka has long signaled her unwillingness to get involved again with her father's political career, and has said nothing other than releasing a tepid statement last week.
Stormy Daniels mocks Trump, saying she'd rather be under her 'sexy man' than 'under arrest'
The adult film actress — who was a central figure in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's investigation into a hush money payment made to her — took to Twitter to celebrate after former President Donald Trump was formally charged in New York on Tuesday.
One of Daniels' Tuesday tweets was a zinger that mocked Trump's legal woes, in response to a sexualized insult aimed at her.
"It's definitely more fun being under my sexy man instead of under arrest," she wrote. Daniels was likely referring to her husband, fellow porn actor Barrett Blade.
This was not the first occasion where Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has reacted triumphantly to Trump's indictment.
In March, Daniels also engaged in a Twitter feud with her critics, one of whom accused her of being obsessed with Trump. Daniels responded to the Twitter user, saying that Trump was the one who was obsessed with her.
"He probably watches my movies on repeat which may be why he has so many typos. (Slippery fingers from lube and KFC)," Daniels tweeted.
Shares of a SPAC linked to Trump's Truth Social — which had risen sharply last week — are down 8% after the former president's arrest
Shares of a blank check company linked to former President Donald Trump were hammered just as he was arraigned and arrested on Tuesday.
Nasdaq-listed Digital World Acquisition Corp — a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, planning to merge with Truth Social holding company Trump Media and Technology Group — closed 8% lower at $14.03 on Tuesday after it announced a delay in filing financial statements.
The stock's performance on Tuesday is a sharp reversal from Friday when Digital World's share prices soared 11%, post Trump's formal indictment. Friday's rally could have been driven by speculation that the indictment would prove positive for Trump Media and Technology Group's business, Insider's Matthew Fox reported Friday.
Since his indictment, Trump has been active on Truth Social, posting more than a dozen times since his arrest on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the former president posted 14 times on TruthSocial after his arraignment, criticizing the Manhattan district attorney's case against him and sharing the remarks he gave in the evening at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. He also asked supporters to donate to his 2024 campaign, and reposted opinions of pundits who support him.
There was little love in New York for Trump, but at home at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the MAGA faithful rallied around him
Former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence was teeming with his fans and allies as he gave a defiant speech just hours after his arraignment in New York.
Trump was very much on home ground in Florida — surrounded by staunch supporters at a campaign-style event held in Mar-a-Lago's gilded ballroom. There, he launched into a rambling speech about the various investigations he's facing, while verbally attacking Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over his case in Manhattan.
This, in contrast to the small group of supporters that showed up for the former president in New York, where the pro-Trump crowd was far outnumbered by anti-Trump protesters.
From Freedom Caucus lawmakers to online provocateurs and longtime Trump friends, here's the who's who of the GOP's far-right flank who showed up for Trump.
Donald Trump isn't the first Trump to get arrested. His father Fred was arrested twice, reports say — once at a Ku Klux Klan riot, and another time over building code violations.
Former President Donald Trump was indicted on Thursday and arraigned in New York on Tuesday, making him the first US president to be charged with a crime.
However, he's not the first person in his family to be arrested, according to archived news reports.
His father, real estate mogul Fred Trump, was detained by the police twice: Once in 1927 and another time in 1976, per newspaper articles published in those years.
Fred Trump was first arrested in 1927 during a Ku Klux Klan riot in Queens on Memorial Day, per The New York Times.
It's unclear in the report what role he played in the riot. "Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Road, Jamaica, was discharged," is all The Times mentioned of his name.
Some 50 years later, the older Trump was also arrested again in Maryland for not complying with housing code violations, according to a 1976 report by The Washington Post's Karen DeYoung.
See the moment in the hearing transcript where Judge Juan Merchan warned Trump not to 'incite violence,' 'create civil unrest,' 'or jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals'
During his arraignment in Manhattan on Tuesday, Judge Juan Merchan warned Trump not to "incite violence or civil unrest," per a copy of the court hearing transcript obtained by Insider.
"Please refrain from making comments or engaging in conduct that has the potential to incite violence, create civil unrest, or jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals," Merchan said.
He added that while he would not issue a gag order on Trump, the former president should not "engage in words or conduct that jeopardizes the rule of law."
A judge warned Trump about comments that could 'jeopardize the safety or well-being' of others. 6 hours later, he attacked the judge, the judge's wife, and the judge's daughter.
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday verbally attacked the family of the judge overseeing his indictment in Manhattan, hours after the same judge warned him not to make remarks that could endanger others.
"This is where we are right now. I have a Trump-hating judge, with a Trump-hating wife and family, whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris and now receives money from the Biden-Harris campaign," Trump said, referring to Judge Juan Merchan.
Trump did not provide substantiation for the claims he made about Merchan and his family.
Trump's comments blasting Merchan came six hours after Merchan warned the former president not to make comments likely to "jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals."
"Please refrain from making comments or engaging in conduct that has the potential to incite violence, create civil unrest, or jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals," Merchan told Trump's lawyers on Tuesday.
Prosecutors allege that Trump met with Michael Cohen in the Oval Office to discuss Cohen's repayment following Stormy Daniels payout
Former President Donald Trump and his one-time fixer, Michael Cohen, met in the White House Oval Office to discuss how the lawyer would be reimbursed after he paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000, according to a statement of facts released by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump was formally arraigned in Manhattan on Tuesday related to an investigation into hush-money payments made ahead of the 2016 election. Trump is the first president to ever face criminal charges. He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records.
According to the document, released on Tuesday, the Chief Financial Officer for the Trump Organization agreed to repay Cohen, referred to as "Lawyer A," agreed to repay Cohen $420,000 in installments of $35,000 over 12 months.
Trump and Cohen then met in the Oval Office at some point in February 2017 to confirm this payment arrangement, the district attorney said in the documents. The documents do not specify whether or not Trump knew about what he was reimbursing Cohen for.
Trump spent the Saturday before his indictment 'blowing off steam' by himself on his driving range: report
The New York Times on Tuesday reported that in the days ahead of the spectacle, Trump tried to appear cheerful and at ease among those close him, who said in reality, he seemed "pensive" and even "subdued."
The Times report cited half a dozen people close to Trump who interacted with him in the days leading up to his self-surrender. Sources told the outlet that despite his outward appearances, the former president seemed to be disguising his stress about the most immediate legal troubles he is facing.
Trump spent Saturday at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he often enjoys a a round before eating lunch at the club. But over the weekend — just days before he flew to New York for the hearing — Trump instead took his time at the driving range, according to the Times.
Following his eventual lunch, Trump returned to the driving range, accompanied by his secret service, where he hit ball after ball for about 10 minutes, according to the Times, which cited an onlooker who described the scene as the former president "blowing off steam."
Trump rallies supporters in campaign-style speech after first-ever arraignment of an ex-president: 'The only crime that I've committed is to fiercely defend our nation'
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday defiantly addressed his supporters at the grand ballroom of his private Mar-a-Lago Club, just hours after hearing the charges against him in court in Manhattan.
The rambling, 27-minute speech, Trump called the charges against him "a persecution, not an investigation" and are evidence the country "is going to hell," adding that the charges should be dropped immediately.
"These radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement we can't let that happen," Trump said. "With all of this being said, and with a very dark cloud over our beloved country I have no doubt nevertheless, that we will make America great again."
Donald Trump's arraignment: key takeaways include 2 warnings from the judge that he behave himself
On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump sat in custody — meaning he was not free to leave — at a defense table in the front of a Manhattan courtroom, where he pleaded not guilty to a lengthy felony indictment.
Arguably, this is the top takeaway from the dramatic hour-long proceeding.
But there were other moments of import, including two stern warnings Trump was given by New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who urged the former president to behave himself both online and in the courtroom.
Courtroom sketches capture former President Donald Trump's arraignment after cameras, phones, and electronics were banned at the start of the proceedings
Courtroom sketches captured the arraignment of former President Donald Trump after cameras, phones, and electronics were banned at the start of the proceedings on Tuesday.
Though cameras swarmed outside the courtroom where Trump was arraigned, public access to the hearing was limited.
Reporters for a few publications were let in through the doors, but they were asked to leave shortly after 2 p.m., before proceedings kicked off.
What a day for a wedding
A couple getting married at Manhattan's courthouse had their big day interrupted by some unexpected chaos: former US president Donald Trump's arraignment.
The historic event brought hoards of protestors, politicians, and media to the area, creating a circus that few would have anticipated on their wedding day.
High school sweethearts Chandler Dean, a speechwriter at West Wing Writers, and Carolina Treviño, a product manager at Planned Parenthood, planned to get legally married at the Manhattan courts on Tuesday before their formal ceremony later this month.
Dean said that he and his fiancée were "dumbfounded by the coincidence" when they realized that former president Donald Trump's appointment at the courthouse was the same day as theirs.
Judge Merchan said Trump needs to appear in person for his next hearing.
Former President Donald Trump's lawyer asked the judge overseeing his Manhattan criminal case during Tuesday's arraignment if he really needs to come to New York again for the next hearing.
But New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan told the Trump lawyers that he expects that "all other defendants to appear in court, even high profile defendants" and would not be making an exception for the former president.
Trump 'should have smiled,' expert says
Former President Donald Trump "should have smiled" for news cameras on Tuesday when he surrendered for his arrest and appeared for his arraignment in New York City, a crisis management expert told Insider.
Instead, the former president bordered on looking nervous to exhausted in photos from the courthouse that will live on, said Max Marcucci, a senior vice president at the crisis firm Levick. Images that emerged don't project his "strongman personality" or energy, he said, and you'd expect someone to appear energetic if they are defiant and wanting to state their case.
"He called Jeb Bush 'low energy,'" said Marcucci, who has advised clients on court appearances. "His photos from his appearance in court were low energy. They did not do what I think they could have done in portraying him as confident and self-assured."
Trump's indictment doesn't just depend on Michael Cohen
Prosecutors originally worried that the Trump indictment rested solely on his former fixer, Michael Cohen, but there's more to it than that.
Prosecutors have zeroed in on other instances beyond Stormy Daniels. An accompanying statement of facts underlines how the indictment rests on the core of a so-called "Catch and Kill" scheme that Trump allegedly concocted with David Pecker, who was at the time the publisher of the National Enquirer. Prosecutors claim the pair worked together to find a way to effectively silence people who claimed to have embarrassing stories about Trump by paying them off through side deals.
'This is what banana republics do'
Congressional Republicans floored by Donald Trump facing 34 felony charges in a Manhattan courtroom declared that America is doomed if the embattled former president is forced to stand trial.
Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday shared some thoughts about the merits of the case brought against the twice-impeached former president that included talk of misdemeanors and expired statutes of limitations.
After sleeping on it, the Florida Republican and former 2016 presidential candidate got back on Twitter with a more dire assessment.
"Today is a bad day for all of us & we are all going to regret it for a very long time," Rubio captioned a 98-second video in which he warned that federal prosecutors now have carte blanche to go after political opponents.
Rep. August Pfluger told Fox News that prosecuting polarizing political leaders is typical in "banana republics" and "failed states." But not in America.
House Republicans vow to avenge Trump indictment
Watching Donald Trump get hit with 34 felony counts on Tuesday sent enraged House Republicans in search of ways they might wreak vengeance on those who dare defy their leading candidate for 2024.
Rep. Ronny Jackson lashed out at Bragg on social media, accusing the long-time federal prosecutor of being a "spineless weasel" orchestrating a "dangerous partisan political stunt."
"Hope he enjoys his fifteen minutes of fame, because Congress will be coming after him when this is done!" the former White House physician and now Texas Republican wrote on Twitter.
Trump said 9 words during his arraignment hearing
Former president Donald Trump uttered just nine words at the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on Tuesday, where he was indicted on dozens of charges related to falsifying business records.
In court, Trump sat with his counsel and spoke as little as possible, pleading not guilty to the charges.
Lawyer says Trump didn't intend to threaten prosecutor with social media post
The judge overseeing the New York case against former President Donald Trump has declined to impose a gag order on the defendant while expressing concern about his use of social media, where the Republican has warned of "death and destruction" over his prosecution and directly attacked the man in charge of it.
Speaking to reporters, Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Trump, acknowledged that Judge Juan M. Merchan had discussed the former president's use of social media. But he insisted that Merchan, who also oversaw the tax fraud case involving the Trump Organization, did not "admonish" the defendant, whose posts, Tacopina argued, had been taken out of context.
On his own social network, Truth Social, Trump had posted a news story, for example, that showed him wielding a baseball bat next to a photo of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Tacopina, who previously acknowledged that Trump's posts about the case were "ill-advised," argued that the post was not meant to constitute a threat from the former president. "That is a picture of him showing off an American-made bat," he said.
Trump's trial may take place at a pivotal time in his campaign
Donald Trump could be on trial in New York just weeks before the 2024 Iowa caucuses, illustrating the headaches that will likely come as the former president tries to juggle court appearances with his political future.
Manhattan prosecutors told Judge Juan Merchan on Tuesday that they would like to hold a trial in January 2024 on charges that Trump falsified business recordsas a way to cover up alleged hush money schemes.
By December, the 2024 GOP presidential race will be nearing its peak in the final stretch before the Iowa caucuses. Traditionally, candidates stump across Iowa and other early states in a final stretch before the holiday season.
A final date has not yet been selected, but it's expected the 2024 caucuses will be in early February.
Prosecutors are worried about Trump's rhetoric
New York prosecutors told a judge Tuesday that they're deeply concerned about the rhetoric former President Donald Trump has used on social media as he faced his indictment.
The former president has repeatedly accused Bragg of bringing a politically motivated case against him, threatened "death and destruction" if he was indicted, and posted — and later deleted — a composite photo showing him swinging a baseball bat in Bragg's direction.
Trump's lawyers pushed back on prosecutors' statements, saying that New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the proceedings, did not specifically request that Trump not use inflammatory language but that "everybody involved refrain from using language that is inappropriate."
The Manhattan DA alleged that Trump orchestrated an unlawful scheme to influence the 2016 election.
Trump sought to influence the 2016 presidential election by paying off two women who alleged they had affairs with him to secure their silence, according to a statement of facts released by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Tuesday.
In the brief, prosecutors described that Trump "repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election."
Trump and others "orchestrated" an "unlawful scheme" to suppress negative information about him during his 2016 campaign by violating election laws and falsifying business records, the brief says.
Meanwhile, Trump awaits several other investigations.
All in all, Trump is the subject of at least four major investigations into wrongdoing relating to his handling of White House documents, the election, the insurrection, and his finances.
In addition to Trump's possible role in a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016, a state prosecutor in Georgia is weighing if Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election results in that state. The Justice Department is also looking into the 2020 election as well as Trump's possible mishandling of classified documents.
Meanwhile, a rape claim against the former president is headed for trial in April, and Trump is fighting a grab-bag of other lawsuits that could financially harm his international real estate and golf resort empire.
Some of his legal battles are already over. In December, Trump's real estate company was convicted in state court in Manhattan for a C-Suite-wide payroll tax-dodge scheme, a dishonor that came with felony status and a $1.6 million fine.
Keep up to date on the latest of Trump's legal travails with this guide to the ever-evolving Trump docket.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg holds news conference following Trump arraignment
Bragg spoke shortly after the arraignment hearing about the charges.
"That is exactly what this case is about: 34 false statements made to cover up other crimes," Bragg said after the hearing. "These are felony crimes in New York state no matter who you are. We cannot and will not normalize serious criminal conduct."
Trump is now leaving Manhattan
Trump will now fly back to Florida, where he's expected to make remarks to his supporters at Mar-a-Lago.
He was released on his own recognizance after the approximately one-hour arraignment hearing.
Supporters have already started gathering outside Mar-a-Lago, awaiting Trump's return.
Read the indictment against Donald Trump
A grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on nearly three dozen felony charges in connection to a $130,000 hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
See a full list of the allegations against the former president here.
Trump lawyers: "The rule of law died in this country"
Trump's attorneys slammed the 34-felony-count indictment against him, saying he was only charged because of his notoriety.
"Today's unsealing of this indictment shows that the rule of law died in this country," Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina told reporters. "While everyone is not above the law, no one is below it either and if this man's name was not Donald J Trump there's no scenario where we'd all be here today."
Fellow Trump attorney Todd Blanche said the former president is "frustrated, he's upset. But I'll tell you what, he's motivated but it's not going to stop him or slow him down."
Trump has left the courtroom
The former president uttered "Not guilty" when asked by a judge how he pleaded during his brief court appearance.
Trump didn't speak to reporters as he left.
Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felonies counts
Donald Trump pleaded not guilty during his court appearance, according to multiple media reporters.
Reuters reported Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
The Trump campaign's fake mugshot T-shirt added 2 inches to his height
Immediately following Donald Trump's arrest in Manhattan on Tuesday, his campaign began promoting a new T-shirt featuring a mugshot of the former president emblazoned with the phrase "NOT GUILTY."
But the mugshot isn't real. And neither is Trump's height, as depicted by the T-shirt.
First images show Donald Trump sitting in court during his arraignment
Trump is currently being arraigned on criminal charges in a Manhattan courthouse.
No one held the door for Trump as he walked into court
A scowling Trump was spotted on live TV walking through a door in the Manhattan courthouse.
Unlike during his time as president, no one held the door for him.
—The Associated Press (@AP) April 4, 2023
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrates Marjorie Taylor Greene getting heckled in New York City at a pro-Trump rally
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York celebrated a report that her far-right colleague from Georgia, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, was heckled Tuesday in New York City.
"Welcome to NYC!," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted with a Statue of Liberty emoji. "Where there are still social consequences for shameless bigotry"
Greene was in the city to speak at a pro-Donald Trump rally ahead of the former president being arraigned, but her speech lasted less than 10 minutes before she quickly left the throng of reporters.
White House says Biden isn't focusing on Trump's criminal case
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on Trump's arrest and pending arraignment on criminal charges.
"We're just not going to comment specifically on the case itself," Jean-Pierre told reporters Tuesday afternoon.
As for President Biden, Jean-Pierre said Trump's legal woes were "not his focus for today."
Donald Trump is now in custody
Donald Trump surrendered into the custody of the Manhattan district attorney's office at 1:22 p.m. on Tuesday.
He will remain under arrest until mid-afternoon, when he'll enter a plea of "not guilty" and a judge will let him go home.
—Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) April 4, 2023
Trump is headed to his arraignment along with police and Secret Service agents
—The Associated Press (@AP) April 4, 2023
Donald Trump has left Trump Tower to a waiting caravan of vehicles on Manhattan's 56th Street. He emerged from the building under a golden awning to a contingent of NYPD, FDNY, and Secret Service vehicles that had been screened by police dogs.
As he stepped out, he held up a fist to onlookers.
The former president will now drive downtown to 100 Centre Street for his historic arraignment.
Marjorie Taylor Greene's rally speech lasts less than 10 minutes
Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's rally speech lasted less than 10 minutes in the park outside the lower Manhattan courthouse where Donald Trump is set to be arraigned later Tuesday.
Greene used a megaphone during her less speech at the planned rally where the media outnumbered backers of Trump.
"The government has been weaponized against [Trump]," Greene told the swarm of press and Trump supporters before her. "I am here to protest, use my voice and take a stand. Every American should take a stand."
Greene called Trump an "innocent man," saying, "We cannot tolerate this injustice in the United States of America."
The rally to support Trump then quickly devolved into a political demonstration featuring Greene's usual talking points against Democrats.
"Democrats are the party of violence," Greene said as she called the Republican Party "the party of peace."
As Greene left the park after the minutes-long speech, she was rushed away from the rally amid a crush of reporters and demonstrators, as people could be heard shouting for her to "get the fuck out of my city!"
Anti-Trump protesters outnumbered his supporters outside the courthouse
The protesters chanted "Lock him up!"
Trump, in an all-caps rant, wants the trial moved to Staten Island where more of his voters live
In an all-caps message posted online before his arraignment, Donald Trump railed against his upcoming criminal case, saying it wouldn't be fair because Manhattan voters didn't support him.
"VERY UNFAIR VENUE, WITH SOME AREAS THAT VOTED 1% REPUBLICAN," the former US president wrote on his TruthSocial website. "THIS CASE SHOULD BE MOVED TO NEARBY STATEN ISLAND - WOULD BE A VERY FAIR AND SECURE LOCATION FOR THE TRIAL."
Staten Island was the only New York City borough to have a majority of voters support Trump in the 2020 election.
Demonstrators outnumbered by reporters before Trump's arraignment
Pro-Trump supporters, a man dressed in a Donald Trump costume, and serial liar George Santos were among the small crowd gathering at lower Manhattan's Collect Pond Park.
Supporters and spectators started gathering at the park Tuesday morning, which is near the Manhattan Criminal Court where former President Donald Trump will be arraigned this afternoon. But reporters and journalists vastly outnumbered the demonstrators Tuesday morning.
—Jacob Shamsian ⚖️ (@JayShams) April 4, 2023
Santos appeared on the pro-Trump side of Collect Pond Park accompanied by a small entourage and was immediately swarmed by a crush of cameras and press. Santos repeated "I'm here to support the President" and then left the park after about 5 minutes of being completely surrounded by reporters and bystanders jeering at him.
The park will be the site of a 10:30 a.m. pro-Trump rally hosted by The New York Young Republicans and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Trump's Secret Service agents would accompany him if he went to jail, retired US judge says
Secret Service agents would accompany former President Donald Trump if he went to jail, a retired US judge told Sky News.
Joseph Cosgrove, formerly of the Court of Common Pleas of the 11th Judicial District in Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, said agents would follow him to jail for his protection.
"Let's assume the worst for Mr Trump: if he were sentenced to some sort of confinement, he would be confined with his secret service agents," Cosgrove said.
Former presidents are entitled to Secret Service protection for life under federal law.
Former Secret Service officials told Insider's Robin Bravender and Dave Levinthal last November that if Trump went to prison for any reason Secret Service agents would very likely follow him, though they said an agent wouldn't end up in a cell with him.
Experts say that Trump is unlikely to face any jail time if he is convicted, and it is more likely that he will be subjected to a fine, community service, or probation.
This is the scene outside the court, as Trump is due to be arraigned
More than 100 reporters stood in line outside of Manhattan Criminal Court at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
Trump is expected to be arraigned in the afternoon, but journalists began gathering at 100 Centre Street by 2:45 p.m. on Monday to secure one of the limited seats inside the courtroom.
Some outlets hired people to wait in the line overnight so reporters could catch a few hours rest before returning early Tuesday morning.
The New York Supreme Court judge overseeing Tuesday's hearing noted the historic nature of the proceedings in a Monday court order.
"That this indictment involves a matter of monumental significance cannot possibly be disputed. Never in the history of the United States has a sitting or past President been indicted on criminal charges," Judge Juan Merchan wrote.
He went on to say that Trump's arraignment has "generated unparalleled public interest and media attention."
While Merchan acknowledged the importance of the press, he ruled against broadcasting the proceedings live after Trump's lawyers argued that doing so would create a "circus-like atmosphere."
Merchan also ruled that no electronic devices would be allowed inside the courtroom. Five pool photographers will be permitted to take still photos from the jury box for a limited time before the proceedings, and the use of cameras will be permitted in the hallways.
Nearby the courthouse, Trump supporters are expected to start gathering by 10:30 a.m.
The New York Young Republicans are holding a pro-Trump rally at lower Manhattan's Collect Pond Park, which is adjacent to the courthouse.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has publicized the event, calling for those in attendance to wear MAGA hats.
Hours from his own arraignment, Trump says Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg should 'INDICT HIMSELF'
On the eve of his arraignment in New York, former President Donald Trump took to social media to declare that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg should "INDICT HIMSELF."
Trump, who was indicted on Thursday and is expected to surrender on April 4, lashed out at Bragg in a Truth Social post on Monday.
"Wow! District Attorney Bragg just illegally LEAKED the various points, and complete information, on the pathetic Indictment against me," Trump wrote on Monday.
"Now, if he wants to really clean up his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and, as District Attorney, INDICT HIMSELF," added Trump.
Trump did not elaborate on why he thought Bragg leaked any information from the sealed indictment and did not provide any evidence to prove his claim.
Tough times in the Trump press line
An Associated Press journalist found an ingenious way to work while waiting in line to secure a press seat at former President Donald Trump's arraignment.
Bobby Calvan put an old pizza box on top of a rusty garbage can to create a makeshift desk, per a tweet by his colleague Mike Sisak, also an AP reporter.
—Mike Sisak (@mikesisak) April 3, 2023
Trump is slated to be arraigned tomorrow in New York. Calvan did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina warns that we might be on the 'eve of destruction' the night before Trump's arraignment
Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for former President Donald Trump, likened the night before Trump's arraignment to the "eve of destruction."
In an interview on Monday on Fox News, Tacopina — who is representing Trump in New York — said he could not believe that the ex-president was going to be arraigned on Tuesday.
"What's extraordinary is that tomorrow is actually happening, that's what's extraordinary. I just cannot believe it, I think we're on the eve of destruction. It's just like surreal to me," Tacopina said.
Tacopina's words on Fox News were similar to the ominous sentiment expressed in Trump's previous Truth Social posts. On March 23, Trump predicted that there would be "death & destruction" if he is indicted.
Trump on March 18 also called on his followers to protest" and "take our nation back," echoing his own rhetoric before the January 6 Capitol riot.
The arraignment will not be broadcast live, judge rules
New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan has rejected the media's request to allow cameras for Trump's arraignment Tuesday.
A small number of photographers will be allowed to take pictures before the arraignment begins, Merchan ruled Monday night.
Earlier on Monday, attorneys for Trump said they don't want cameras in the courtroom because it will "create a circus-like atmosphere."
The supporters will make their way downtown for a protest this evening
Taisha Parrot, a researcher from Jamaica, Queens, came out with her Trump flag on high, sporting an "ULTRA MAGA" baseball cap.
She came out for "two main reasons: one to support Trump and two, to protest what Alvin Bragg is doing."
"The only reason they are doing this is because he's ahead in the polls," she said. "He's gotten higher in the polls as a result of this."
She said she and a couple of other protesters were on their way downtown to another protest by the New York Republican Latinos later tonight.
Supporters are flying in to support Trump
Arlinda Rainey, 52, and her mother, 75-year-old Marjorie Westerfield flew all the way from Central Kentucky to support Trump as he arrived in New York City to face a historic indictment.
The pair spent a combined $6,000 for airfare and accommodations in the big city.
"I feel like they are doing him wrong," Special Education teacher, Raniey said. "I feel like we were safer with him as president."
Raniey said she didn't care much for New York City.
"Too many people."
The ladies took shelter in an atrium area in Trump Tower as the former presidents motorcade rolled down 56th street to the side entrance.
"We're just here to show support and to let him know to keep going strong," Westerfield said.
Trump has arrived at Trump Tower
Trump arrived to Trump Tower just after 4 p.m. ET to a small group of supporters lining Madison Avenue.
He's expected to stay the night in Manhattan before his court appearance Tuesday.
Reporters are already lining up to get a chance to attend Trump's public arraignment
—Liam Quigley (@_elkue) April 3, 2023
Police brace for protests by erecting barricades and closing streets
NYPD erected barricades in front of Trump Tower and the courthouse in preparation for potential protests.
An NYPD spokesperson told Insider there are "no current credible threats" to the city.
Trump's legal team said cameras in the courtroom would cause a 'circus-like atmosphere.'
The former president's lawyers say they want to avoid "a circus-like atmosphere" as Trump is arraigned in a Manhattan criminal court.
Trump himself has called for mass protests outside on social media.
The NYC park where Marjorie Taylor Greene is hosting the rally for Trump used to be an open sewer the city tried to fill in with land but it sunk (and stunk)
Hours before former President Donald Trump plans to surrender to the Manhattan District Attorney Tuesday, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will join a rally in New York City's Collect Pond Park to protest the former president's indictment.
But the park — just steps outside of the DA's office in downtown Manhattan — wasn't always the patch of greenery inside New York's concrete jungle. The small area was once a pond filled with drinking water that later became a disgusting, stinky open sewer and the center of a gang-filled slum where mobsters like Lucky Luciano and Al Capone got their start.
The only way you'll see Donald Trump's mugshot is if someone leaks it or he shares it himself
The indicted former US president will be fingerprinted and will pose for a mugshot ahead of his New York City courtroom arraignment on Tuesday, but the photograph won't be made public unless it is leaked or released by Trump himself.
Under New York law, mugshots are not public records.
Trump has left Florida on his jet before his arraignment on Tuesday
Donald Trump's jet departed from Florida Monday afternoon, according to an Instagram account tracking its movements.
The 757 airliner — which is decked out with the word "Trump" painted on it — left West Palm Beach.
Trump was expected to leave Florida on Monday before his arraignment in Manhattan court on Tuesday.
Trump announces Mar-a-Lago speech hours after Tuesday arraignment
Former President Donald Trump announced Sunday that he would be speaking at his Palm Beach club Mar-a-Lago Tuesday evening at 8:15 p.m. — hours after his arraignment in New York.
Trump is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon. Then, he will be flying into New York on Monday night to voluntarily surrender himself on Tuesday, ahead of his appearance before a judge.
It's pretty much a certainty that Trump will remain free afterward, probably without any bail set at all, Insider's Laura Italiano reported.
Under New York's recently changed progressive bail laws, defendants can be ordered held on bail only if the judge finds that they are a flight risk.
John Bolton says if Manhattan DA case flops, it could be 'rocket fuel' for the former president
Former national security advisor John Bolton said that if the Manhattan district attorney squanders Donald Trump's criminal case, it could be "rocket fuel" for the former president's campaign.
"I'm not worried about Alvin Bragg hurting Donald Trump. I'm worried about Alvin Bragg benefiting Donald Trump," Bolton told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday, referring to the DA overseeing the ex-president's criminal case.
Chris Christie says the 'bravado from the Trump camp' toward the indictment 'is baloney' as the former president's arraignment approaches
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said the "bravado" displayed by former President Donald Trump after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury is "baloney."
Speaking on a panel on Sunday's "This Week" on ABC News, Christie said he was mostly reserving commentary on the content of the indictment because he wanted to read it first, but then proceeded to offer several minutes of commentary.
A grand jury indicted Trump last week after an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Brag into hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election.
Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina says his client has a 'right to have an issue with everything' after Trump goes after Manhattan judge
Joe Tacopina, an attorney for Donald Trump, said the former president has a "right to have an issue with everything" after Trump claimed a judge involved in his Manhattan criminal case was biased against him.
Tacopina echoed Trump's claims that a grand jury indictment handed down last week in Manhattan was a form of political persecution, but he stopped short of saying that he would request a different judge.
"Had he not been running for the presidency, he would not have been indicted," Tacopina said of Trump on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday. "We are going to take the indictment, evaluate all our legal options, and pursue every one most vigorously."
Former Arkansas GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson announces run for president, says Trump should 'step aside' from the race after his indictment
Former Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas formally announced that his is running for president on Sunday.
Just two days earlier, on Friday, Hutchinson said former President Donald Trump should "step aside" from the 2024 presidential race after his indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.
During an appearance on Fox Business, Hutchinson pointed to the integrity of serving in elected office as he spoke of the former president's criminal inquiry.
"When a public official is indicted, I think with regard to the office, the office is more important than the person and they should step aside. That standard should apply here. It is a distraction," Hutchinson said on the network.
Trump surges to a 26-point lead over Ron DeSantis in the 2024 GOP presidential primary post-indictment: poll
Former President Donald Trump was already the front-runner among Republicans in the 2024 race for the White House, edging out a likely but yet-to-be-announced contender in Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.
But with his indictment by a Manhattan grand jury, Trump has surged ahead in a head-to-head matchup against DeSantis in a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, beating the Sunshine State politician by 26 percentage points among registered Republican voters and Independents who lean Republican.
In the poll, 57% of those asked said they would vote for Trump, while 31% indicated that they would back DeSantis, which was one of the first surveys to be conducted after Thursday's indictment.
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Trump's legal team may ask to move his criminal trial from Manhattan to more conservative-leaning Staten Island, report says
Former President Donald Trump's defense team is considering asking to move his criminal trial to more conservative-leaning Staten Island, fearing that the former president wouldn't be able to receive a fair trial in Manhattan, according to Bloomberg.
Trump's attorneys have not yet determined their final course of action on the matter, however, and are looking to first review the charges in the indictment from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr., an unnamed source told the news agency.
The request has the veneer of politics, as Manhattan — or New York County — is one of the most Democratic-heavy jurisdictions in the country. Staten Island, meanwhile, has long been the most conservative of New York City's give boroughs.
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Trump Organization employees were 'really happy' about Trump's indictment, Maggie Haberman says
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman on Friday said several Trump Organization employees texted her expressing their happiness over former President Donald Trump's indictment by the Manhattan District Attorney's office in connection with a hush money payment made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
After a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump, Haberman, who wrote the book "Confidence Man" and is widely seen as the most prominent chronicler of the former president's tenure in the White House, said during a panel interview on CNN's "This Morning" that she began receiving messages from employees soon after news broke of his indictment.
"There is a long trail of people who feel burned in one way or another by Donald Trump. We certainly saw that in the White House," she said. "This was a pattern that existed for decades before the Trump Organization."
Michael Cohen's lawyer says case against Trump is 'very solid' and jurors only need ask themselves if Trump had 'any political motivation' for the Stormy Daniels payment
Michael Cohen's attorney believes the criminal case against Donald Trump in the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation is "very solid" though it's "not going to be an easy case."
Cohen, Trump's longtime political fixer turned political adversary, is expected to be a "principal witness" in the case if it goes to trial, attorney Lanny Davis told NBC's "Meet the Press NOW" on Friday.
"It's not going to be an easy case because they do have to create a novel law," Davis said. "But here is why I think it's a very, very solid case, maybe more solid than any of the other cases. Everyone's missing this."
There is only "one question that the jury has to ask and answer," Davis told NBC News host Chuck Todd.
"The legal issue will be decided by a judge, but the factual question is very simple: Did Donald Trump have any political motivation when he directed Michael to pay $130,000 to Stormy?" Davis said. "Any."
Donald Trump's NFT trading cards jumped in value to almost $1,700 after Manhattan indictment
Donald Trump's digital trading card NFTs have spiked in value, with the highest sale at nearly $1,700 following his indictment in the Manhattan district attorney's investigation.
According to Newsweek, the floor price of Trump's NFT trading cards was 0.41 Ethereum (ETH), or about $748 USD, on March 30 when Trump was indicted.
As of publication on April 1, the floor price ticked up 1.9% to $967.38, or 0.5299 ETH, according to NFT Price Floor, a site that indexes and complies data on NFT trading and marketplaces.
Trump's NFTs had an average sale of 0.5737 ETH, or roughly $1,000 — rising 1.45% in the last 24 hours. The highest sale soared to 0.9298 ETH, which equates to nearly $1,700 — an increase of 10.16% in the same period, according to the site.
Trump raised more than $4 million within 24 hours following grand jury indictment, his campaign says
Trump raised more than $4 million within 24 hours after news broke that a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict him, his campaign said on Friday.
The campaign made the revelation in a press release and email to subscribers, which described the case as the "Alvin Bragg witch hunt."
The statement hailed the influx of donations and said that over 25% came from first-time donors and that the average contribution was $34.
Trump's indictment may 'embolden' prosecutors to bring more charges against him for January 6 and his efforts to overturn the election, legal experts say
Former President Donald Trump's list of legal woes could get more complicated following his indictment by a New York grand jury on Thursday.
Trump is the first ex-president to ever be charged with a crime after an investigation into a hush-money payment made to the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels. Although the charges have not yet been made public, ex-Manhattan prosecutors say that Trump risks felony-level state records-fraud charges that carry punishments of up to four years in prison.
The chances of him going to prison, however, are slim to none.
But several legal experts told Insider the indictment could make other prosecutors "emboldened" to charge him in other ongoing investigations related to his role in the Capitol riot, an alleged scheme to overturn election results in Georgia, and his handling of government records.
Can Trump still run for president after being indicted?
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a grand jury in New York, triggering a wave of questions about the indictment's potential implications on his 2024 presidential campaign, and whether Trump could go on to serve as president again after being formally accused of a felony crime.
A presidential candidate can, indeed, still run for office despite being indicted for a crime, according to the US Constitution.
What is an indictment? What it means for someone to be indicted by a grand jury and why Trump was charged
A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump on Thursday after hearing evidence for months about his alleged role in a hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
With that vote, 76-year-old Trump became the first former US president ever to be indicted on criminal felony charges in American history.
So what does it mean to be indicted? An indictment is a formal notice to a defendant that they have been charged with a crime, according to the US Department of Justice.
Trump to fly to New York Monday night ahead of Tuesday arraignment: reports
Trump will fly to New York Monday night, the eve of his expected arraignment, per the Washington Post.
Trump lead attorney Susan Necheles told Insider that Trump is expecting to voluntarily surrender on Tuesday at Manhattan Criminal Court. Final arrangements were still being hammered out on Friday among the NYPD, court staff and the Secret Service, she said.
Is Trump going to jail?
The chances of Donald Trump spending any time behind bars over his historic New York indictment are slim to none, according to legal experts.
First-offenders virtually never go to jail on the kind of non-violent, low-level felonies that Trump's lawyers currently believe he faces, from an indictment with an expected top charge of falsifying business records in the first degree,
But Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg can still seek to lock Trump up if he is convicted, experts told Insider, given that felony falsifying of business records allows a sentence of anywhere from zero jail time up to a maximum of four years in prison.
Prosecutors can also ask for more likely penalties — including a hefty fine, community service, and probation — in the event that the 76-year-old former president is convicted.
Meet Juan Merchan, the Manhattan judge scheduled to oversee Donald Trump's criminal case
Following his indictment this week, Donald Trump is poised to face an old nemesis in court: Judge Juan Manuel Merchan.
Merchan is overseeing the Manhattan district attorney's criminal case against the ex-president. He was spotted going into a Manhattan courthouse on Thursday evening, likely to review the indictment voted on by a grand jury hours earlier. That same day, he issued an order allowing prosecutors to disclose the existence of the indictment, which is normally a closely-held secret. On Friday, court security put extra restrictions near his chambers.
Trump and Merchan have a history. The judge oversaw last fall's criminal trial against the Trump Organization. The company's CFO, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty to financial crime charges and testified in the case. A jury convicted Trump's company of numerous financial fraud charges.
Trump isn't fond of the judge.
Trump's lawyers promise a 'smooth surrender' but don't expect him to take a plea deal
Donald Trump's lead attorney doesn't expect the former president to take a plea deal, adding that he's a "tough guy" who is "resolved to fight" against any and all charges brought his way.
Still lawyer Susan Necheles told Insider "it will be a smooth surrender" when Trump turns himself in to face the charges against him.
Lindsey Graham says Trump should 'smash some windows,' sniping at New York's crime policies
Sen. Lindsey Graham joked that Trump should "punch a cop" on his way to being booked in Manhattan, saying it would be a way for Trump to avoid prosecution.
The barb was a reference to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's crime policies in New York City, which Republicans have targeted as far back as the 2022 election as being too soft on criminals.
Ivanka Trump offers up short statement after her father's indictment
The former first daughter wrote in an Instagram story that she was "pained" for her father and country.
Her three-sentence-long statement added: "I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern."
Manhattan DA office blasts House Republicans
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office brushed off House GOP's threats of investigation, warning three committee chairmen not to interfere with the prosecution of former President Donald Trump.
"Like any other defendant, Mr. Trump is entitled to challenge these charges in court and avail himself of all processes and protections that New York State's robust criminal procedure affords," a lawyer for Bragg's office wrote in a letter dated Friday to Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, James Comer of Kentucky, and Bryan Steil of Wisconsin, chairmen of the powerful House Judiciary, Oversight, and Administration committees, respectively.
"What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State," the DA's general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, added.
Trump's indictment kickstarts a round of memes
While the news of the indictment stirred Trump, his allies, his opponents, and the media into a frenzy, it also spurred some top-quality memes across social media, from references to the popular show "Succession" to Gwyneth Paltrow ski trial comparisons.
Trump was smiling and glad-handing fans at Mar-a-Lago as news of his indictment crashed around him, resort guests say
Former President Donald Trump was all smiles Thursday night, guests told Insider, describing an alternate reality at his Mar-a-Lago club as news of his historic indictment broke.
Trump is 'ready to be combative' defending himself, his lawyer says in NBC interview
NBC's "Today" show interviewed Trump lawyer Joe Tacopina on Friday, who said his client is "ready to be combative" in defending himself.
Tacopina said Trump was "initially shocked" by the news of the indictment, appearing to confirm reporting from news outlets which said the news caught him off-guard.
He said that shock was soon replaced by "typical Donald Trump posture where he's ready to be combative on something that he believes is an injustice."
Tacopina also told NBC that there's "zero" chance Trump will take a plea deal, adding: "It's not gonna happen."
He said raised the prospect that the charges may not even make it to trial, saying there were "substantial legal challenges," though he did not give specifics.
Recap: Where we stand the morning after Trump's indictment made history
It's been around 12 hours since news broke that former President Donald Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, a first for an ex-president.
Since then, his allies rallied to his defense and even his 2024 rivals, Gov. Ron DeSantis and former VP Mike Pence, joined in.
Meanwhile, Stormy Daniels, the porn star who received the hush-money payment at the center of the case, said she has been celebrating with champagne.
Demonstrators congregated outside the Manhattan DA's office last night, while others met outside Mar-a-Lago, where Trump was staying.
Trump raged at being "INDICATED" — seemingly not noticing his typo — and is said to have been shoring up his support since.
He is planning to surrender to authorities next week, his lawyer Joe Tacopina said.
You can find more detail below, and Insider will be bringing more updates through Friday as the story develops.
Trump calls Capitol Hill allies to bolster support, tells them he will fight charges: CNN
Trump has been calling up allies on Capitol Hill for "check-ins" and to bolster support following the announcement of his indictment, GOP sources told CNN's Capitol Hill reporter Melanie Zanona.
He spoke to members of the House GOP leadership and lawmakers serving on committees that are trying to investigate Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, telling them he plans to fight the charges, Zanona said on Twitter.
People on Chinese social media say Trump's indictment embarrassed the US and made China look good
The indictment has Chinese social media users posting a flurry of memes calling him "Comrade Nation Builder" — a hero who's strengthening China by embarrassing the US.
The idea behind the "Comrade Nation Builder" nickname on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, is that Trump is an ally of China who went to Washington for the sole purpose of sabotaging America with wild antics and outrageous policies.
"Would you like to join the Party, Comrade Nation Builder?" a person on Weibo wrote, referring to the Chinese Communist Party, which Trump considers a sworn enemy.
Trump went from joking about 'golden handcuffs' to being 'irritated' and 'deflated,' Washington Post reports
Trump was joking with aides and in high spirits which vanished when the New York indictment took him and his staffers by surprise, per The Washington Post.
The Post spoke to an aide who said Trump was joking about "golden handcuffs" in the days before he was indicted. He thought an indictment would not come for weeks, if at all, two advisers told The Post.
One of the two advisers the Post spoke to said Trump quickly became "irritated" and "deflated" after the indictment.
New York prosecutors wanted Trump to surrender on Friday, but Trump's lawyers said the Secret Service needs more time to prepare his escort: Politico
The Manhattan district attorney's office wanted former President Donald Trump to surrender on Friday, but his lawyers said the Secret Service needed more time to arrange his escort, Politico reported.
Trump, who was indicted on Thursday by a New York grand jury, is due in court on April 4.
The negotiation around Trump's protection was confirmed by Joe Tacopina, Trump's lawyer, and an unnamed source in law enforcement, per Politico.
Michael Cohen says Trump will join him in the ranks of 'convicted felons' soon: 'See you on Tuesday, pal'
Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump's one-time personal lawyer and fixer, gloated on CNN about how Trump may soon join him in the ranks of convicted felons.
Speaking to CNN, Cohen admitted that he was a "convicted perjurer," a "convicted felon," and a "disbarred lawyer."
But Cohen — who Trump's spokespeople have previously labeled a "disbarred felon" in statements to Insider — also alluded on CNN to how the label of "felon" might soon apply to Trump, too.
"Oh by the way for Donald, since we're talking about convicted felons, see you on Tuesday, pal," Cohen said, referring to the day that Trump is expected to be arraigned.
Mike Pence, who Trump supporters said they wanted to hang during the Capitol riot, is still defending Trump post-indictment
Former Vice President Mike Pence — who a pro-Trump mob threatened to kill during the Capitol riot — found a way to defend his ex-boss former President Donald Trump on CNN.
Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday, Pence called the "unprecedented indictment" of a former president an "outrage."
"I really do believe that this decision today is a great disservice to the country. And the idea that for the first time in American history, a former president would be indicted on a campaign finance issue to me, it just smacks of political prosecution," Pence said.
"I know President Trump can take care of himself in the courtroom, and he ought to focus on that right now," Pence added.
Lindsey Graham tried to fundraise for Trump on Fox News hours after the former president was indicted
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham tried to raise money for former President Donald Trump's 2024 campaign just hours after the latter was indicted.
"But you need to help this man, Donald J. Trump, they're trying to drain him dry. He's spent more money on lawyers than most people spend on campaigns," said Graham, a longtime Trump ally, in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
"Give the man some money so he can fight," Graham added.
Stormy Daniels says orders for 'Team Stormy' merch are 'pouring in' after Trump's indictment
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels said orders are "pouring in" for her merchandise and autographs after former President Donald Trump was indicted on Thursday.
"Thank you to everyone for your support and love! I have so many messages coming in that I can't respond," tweeted Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford. "Also don't want to spill my champagne."
Daniels' tweets about the Trump indictment have been nothing short of jubilant. It's unsurprising considering that since 2018, she has sued Trump, called him a liar, repeatedly poked fun at him, and tussled online with the former president's supporters.
As more signs indicated that Trump would be indicted, the self-described porn star also began promoting her merchandise store, which sells products such as calendars, apparel, and signed photos.
Trump's Truth Social post about respecting the grand jury aged really poorly
Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he had "SUCH RESPECT" for the New York grand jury — but he was singing a different tune just one day later, after he got indicted.
In a Truth Social post on Wednesday, before getting indicted, Trump wrote: "I HAVE GAINED SUCH RESPECT FOR THIS GRAND JURY, & PERHAPS EVEN THE GRAND JURY SYSTEM AS A WHOLE."
In a Truth Social post after his indictment, however, Trump seemed to have lost his newfound respect for the jury.
"These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America," Trump wrote on Thursday. "THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!"
Trump's grip on the GOP is so total that even his 2024 rivals, from DeSantis to Pence, are rallying to him after the indictment
Current and would-be Republican rivals largely rallied behind Donald Trump on Thursday, illustrating the difficulty the former president's primary foes will face as they try to navigate the fallout from a historic indictment.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump's best-positioned potential rival, vowed not to cooperate with any extradition requests Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg may need to get Trump out of Florida. Insider previously reported how DeSantis has little power to thwart such a request as the Constitution requires interstate extradition.
"The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head," DeSantis, who is expected to announce a presidential campaign in May, said in a statement. "It is un-American."
What we know so far
Reporter Oma Seddiq took a step back to explain what we know so far in the Trump indictment case, including how it may impact his campaign.
DeSantis says Florida won't help extradite Trump
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida pledged Thursday that state officials would not help extradite former President Donald Trump from Florida to New York in a charged political attack on the prosecutor.
DeSantis in a statement on Twitter accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of "stretching the law to target a political opponent," though he didn't name Trump or Bragg.
Trump is required by law to appear before a judge to address the criminal charges and is expected to voluntarily do so — rendering the extradition question moot for DeSantis, who is expected to enter the GOP presidential race soon where he'll need to siphon support from Trump's base.
Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud: report
Though the exact charges are still sealed, sources tell CNN that Trump faces more than 30 counts as part of the indictment.
Those low-level felony charges will likely relate to the 2016 election-eve hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels. They carry a potential maximum sentence of four years in prison. But a judge could also set a sentence of as little as zero jail plus probation.
Why Biden has to stay quiet
Given the rancor between the current president and his predecessor, Joe Biden may be tempted to celebrate Donald Trump becoming the first former president to get slapped with an indictment.
Biden could certainly high-five First Lady Jill Biden in private. But in public, there are myriad reasons why Democrats hope Biden will play this unprecedented event in about as boring a way as possible.
The indictment will not be unsealed until Trump is arraigned
A source familiar with the case's planning tells Insider that Trump's indictment will be a felony, and will not be unsealed until Trump is arraigned.
The former president is expected to surrender to authorities next week, according to his lawyer Joe Tacopina.
Donald Trump Jr. decries his father's indictment
Trump Jr. took to Rumble, an online video platform, on Thursday to interrupt a scheduled airing of his interview with Joe Kent, a failed 2022 congressional candidate, to rant about the indictment.
In the live segment, Trump Jr. called out Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and painted him as a corrupt prosecutor supported by billionaire George Soros — a false claim that likely stems from the fact that Soros funded a nonprofit called Color of Change which has donated to Bragg. A Soros spokesperson previously told Insider that none of the funds from Soros were specifically earmarked for Bragg.
Trump Jr. also incorrectly stated that the district attorney is indicting Trump. Prosecutors can only bring forward evidence of a particular crime such as witness testimony. A New York grand jury ultimately voted to indict Trump.
Trump Jr. added that the indictment was "weaponized justice at its absolute worst" and gave vague and ominous premonitions that this case represents a "battle for our existence."
Stormy Daniels reacts to Trump's indictment
Adult film star Stormy Daniels offered a two-word response to Thursday's news that a grand jury had voted to indict Donald Trump.
Daniels quote-tweeted a Twitter user arguing that Trump's indictment, which is likely linked to a $130,000 payment to the porn star ahead of the 2016 election, should not be cause for celebration, but should instead be allowed to play out in the justice system.
"Thank you," Daniels wrote.
Here's a timeline that spells out when Trump's marriages started and ended, as well as alleged and confirmed affairs and accusations of sexual misconduct that reportedly occurred during these periods:
Wrongly accused Central Park 5 member cheered Trump's indictment
In 1989, Trump bought newspaper advertisements calling for New York State to adopt the death penalty after an attack on a Central Park jogger.
He made clear that he was speaking out because of the attack, though the ads did not explicitly call for the death penalty for the Central Park 5, the five Black and Latino teenagers who were wrongly convicted of assaulting and raping a White woman in Central Park.
Now that Trump has been indicted in New York, a member of that exonerated group has a concise response: "Karma."
Trump raged about being 'INDICATED' in social media post about his indictment
Former President Donald Trump complained on Thursday about being "indicated" in New York, adding in all caps that "THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE."
Bragg's office: DA is coordinating with Trump's attorneys for his surrender
A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg confirmed Trump's team was notified of his indictment Thursday evening.
"This evening we contacted Mr. Trump's attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.'s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal," the spokesperson said. "Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected."
Trump and his aides were caught off guard by his indictment, believing it was weeks away: New York Times
Trump and his aides were caught off guard by news of his indictment, believing the decision wouldn't come for weeks, according to The New York Times' Maggie Haberman.
The former US president is currently at Mar-a-Lago planning his next moves after the New York grand jury's decision to indict him, per the Times. Some advisors had been confident that the vote wouldn't come until the end of April.
Trump's GOP allies rally to his defense, blasting indictment as a 'politically motivated prosecution'
Former President Donald Trump's Republican allies in Congress are rallying to his defense after a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday voted to indict him — the first former president in American history to face criminal charges.
"A majority of Americans know Alvin Bragg's witch hunt is a politically motivated prosecution," Gaetz continued, referring to the Manhattan district attorney. "I continue to stand with President Trump as he has always stood with us."
Trump expected to surrender next week, his lawyer confirms
Trump is expected to surrender to authorities next week, according to his lawyer Joe Tacopina.
A trio of demonstrators outside the Manhattan DA's office unfurled a banner to celebrate Trump's indictment
—Laura Italiano (@Italiano_Laura) March 30, 2023
Michael Cohen, a witness against Trump, says he thinks the former president 'is petrified'
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former fixer-turned-nemesis, said in a statement Thursday that "no one is above the law."
He went on to say that he stands by his testimony to the Manhattan DA's office.
Cohen previously pleaded guilty to making a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election and was called as a witness before the grand jury that ultimately indicted Trump.
Cohen also told MSNBC he believes Trump is "petrified" and that "this is one of his biggest fears."
Fox News gasps, rallies around Trump as he is indicted
Fox News anchors gasped in the studio as news broke about Trump's indictment.
But some Fox News hosts immediately rallied around Donald Trump on Thursday evening.
"It is the stupidest thing I've ever seen, and I feel bad for the guy," co-host Jesse Watters said during the live taping of "The Five."
As Trump has done previously, other hosts turned their ire on Bragg himself.
"He's such an incompetent boob," host Greg Gutfeld chimed in when another host was discussing how the indicted will now be part of history.
Gutfeld also called the prosecutor "the MAGA Republican of the year," predicting that the charges have now secured Trump the GOP presidential nomination.
Donald Trump becomes the first former president to be criminally charged in US history
Donald Trump is the first former president to ever be criminally charged in US history.
A Manhattan grand jury has indicted Trump, his attorney, Joe Tacopina, confirmed to Insider.
His indictment will likely interfere with his third bid for president in the upcoming 2024 election.
The indictment comes after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office into Trump's business dealings and whether he violated New York state laws when his lawyer paid $130,000 to Stormy Daniels.
Daniels says she and Trump had an affair in the 2000s, and that he and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid her to keep quiet during the 2016 election campaign. Cohen took a plea deal with prosecutors and has said that Trump approved of the payment.
Trump has denied that there was ever an affair and said he has done "absolutely nothing wrong," calling the probe politically motivated.
Stormy Daniels made a surprise appearance in Manhattan DA's Trump probe just before the indictment
Adult film star Stormy Daniels met with New York prosecutors last Wednesday over their probe into former President Donald Trump's hush money payment to her in 2016, her lawyer, Clark Brewster, said.
Brewster said Daniels "responded to questions and has agreed to make herself available as a witness, or for further inquiry if needed."
—Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 15, 2023
Daniels said she had an affair with Trump in the mid-2000s and that he and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid her in exchange for her silence during Trump's first presidential campaign.
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