(WJW) — Former President Donald Trump’s Tuesday court arraignment was an unprecedented moment in American history.
On Tuesday afternoon, former President Donald Trump appeared in a New York federal courtroom to face 34 felony charges stemming from alleged hush money payments made on his behalf to an adult film star during the 2016 election.
It’s the first time a U.S. president has been charged in a criminal matter.
Trump’s attorney has said the former president’s legal team is expected to file a motion to dismiss the case.
Below is an archived live blog of news updates surrounding Trump’s court appearance on Tuesday.
6:45 p.m. Former President Trump’s plane touched down at Palm Beach International Airport. He is expected to deliver remarks from his Mar-a-Lago estate at 8:15 p.m.
5:30 p.m. After Trump appeared in court earlier Tuesday afternoon, the former president’s legal team spoke to reporters about the “insufficiency” of the case against him.
“Today’s unsealing of this indictment shows that the rule of law died in this country,” said attorney Joe Tacopina. “While not everyone is above the law, no one is below it, either. If this man’s name was not Donald J. Trump, there’s no scenario we’d all be here today … based on these charges.”
Tacopina summarized the case as “a state prosecutor prosecuting a federal election law violation that doesn’t exist, according to federal election officials.”
Watch video of the press gaggle on the steps of the courthouse:
5 p.m. GOP lawmakers came to the defense of former President Trump following his arraignment Tuesday.
“[Manhattan DA Alvin] Bragg’s entire career is about normalizing violent crime,” tweeted U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance. “Just crazy that he’s bringing this weak case in the middle of a presidential election.”
U.S. Rep. Max Miller, who represents part of Cuyahoga and Holmes counties as well as all of Medina and Wayne, said, “Equal justice under the law died today.”
“This is political persecution, period,” he tweeted.
Fourth District U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said Americans are afforded equal justice under the law “unless you’re a Republican running for president.”
“When you drain the Swamp, the Swamp fights back,” he later tweeted.
4:30 p.m. “While we are living through the darkest hours of American history, I can say that at least for this moment right now, I am in great spirits,” reads a fundraising email from Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, sent shortly after New York prosecutors laid out the felony charges against the former president.
“Because my team showed me all of the support, the love, the prayers, and the donations YOU gave our movement while I was getting arrested and arraigned,” it reads.
Trump’s campaign claims to have raised $10 million since the first reports of his indictment.
Following his arraignment, Trump flew back to Florida from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. He is expected to touch down at Palm Beach International Airport at about 6 p.m.
The former president is expected to deliver remarks from his Mar-a-Lago estate at about 8:15 p.m.
4:15 p.m. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg addressed the charges against former President Trump at a Tuesday afternoon media briefing.
Prosecutors allege Trump and others schemed to purchase damaging information about the former president while he was running for the White House, beginning with an August 2015 meeting at Trump Tower. The falsified business records were made to conceal violations of election law in New York, said Bragg.
Two weeks before the 2016 election, Trump is accused of having his attorney Michael Cohen wire $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. That payment was allegedly written off as a legal expense in 2017, and Trump “personally signed” the checks to Cohen made over nine months in 2016, Bragg said.
A grand jury in the New York court found 34 documents containing that “critical false statement,” leading to the 34 charges.
Bragg said the conduct is like many other white-collar criminal offenses which the office has prosecuted “time and time again.”
3:45 p.m. Former President Trump is due back in court in December, according to reports. Prosecutors are pushing for a January 2024 trial, but Trump’s legal team wants the trial pushed back.
Judge Juan Merchan did not issue a gag order against the former president, prohibiting him from speaking out about the case. But the judge did warn Trump against making inflammatory remarks that may incite violence or civil unrest, The Associated Press reported.
3:30 p.m. The motorcade carrying former President Trump has left the Manhattan courthouse following his criminal arraignment on 34 felony counts, and is headed to LaGuardia Airport.
Trump did not speak after leaving the courthouse, but is expected to deliver remarks later Tuesday, according to Fox News.
3:04 p.m. Former President Donald Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, according to The Associated Press. He has pleaded not guilty.
Under New York Penal Law, a defendant is guilty of the charge if they made or caused a false entry in the business records of an enterprise, or if they altered, erased or destroyed a true entry; omitted a true entry in violation of lawful duty; or prevented a true entry from being made or causing an omission.
Trump is alleged to have had sexual encounters with adult film star Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, Nexstar reported. Michael Cohen, the Trump Organization’s former attorney, claimed he made hush money payments to the women at Trump’s direction — something Trump has denied.
Read the full indictment:
2:47 p.m. Former President Trump has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, according to reports.
2:30 p.m. Following his formal booking, former President Trump walked into the courtroom to face charges stemming from alleged hush money payments made to an adult film star during the 2016 election.
2:10 p.m. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg entered the courtroom where former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned, according to The Associated Press.
Trump himself has not yet been seen near the courtroom, AP reported.
2 p.m. Trump’s indictment in a Manhattan federal court is not his only legal entanglement.
He also faces a state and federal probes into his alleged interference in the 2020 election; two defamation lawsuits from a woman who alleges Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s; and a civil lawsuit against that also includes his business entities and his three adult children.
1:57 p.m. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre during a Tuesday briefing said President Joe Biden has been briefed on former President Trump’s arraignment, but that it’s not something he’s focused on Tuesday.
The White House said last week the president was not briefed in advance of the indictment.
1:42 p.m. People both for and against former President Donald Trump’s indictment gathered outside the Manhattan federal courthouse as he was scheduled to face criminal charges.
1:25 p.m. The motorcade carrying former President Donald Trump has arrived at the Manhattan federal courthouse. His attorneys arranged for his surrender, according to The Associated Press.
Moments prior, the former president posted to his social media platform Truth Social:
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!Statement from former President Donald Trump
Trump is expected to plead not guilty to criminal charges stemming from hush money payments to an adult film star during the 2016 election. The precise charges have yet to be revealed, as the indictment will remain under seal until the arraignment, but dozens of charges are expected, including at least one felony, according to reports.
1:10 p.m. Former President Trump has departed Trump Tower for the Manhattan federal courthouse where he is expected to surrender. He posed briefly for cameras, pumping his fist.
The historic arraignment of a former U.S. president on criminal charges drew hundreds of onlookers, protesters, journalists and politicians, The Associated Press reported.
See photos from downtown New York City:
1 p.m. A former Florida state lawmaker who droved to New York for Trump’s Tuesday arraignment pledged his continued support for the former president, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s a bad day for America, one of the worst days in American history,” said Anthony Sabatini, chair of Florida’s Lake County Republican Party.
12:30 p.m. Former President Trump is expected to leave Trump Tower at 1 p.m. to surrender at the Southern District federal courthouse ahead of his 2:15 p.m. arraignment.
He is not expected to make a public address following his court appearance, a member of Trump’s legal team told NewsNation.
11:30 a.m. U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) showed her support for the former president at a rally in a park near the New York City courthouse where Trump is expected to be arraigned.
Greene thanked “patriotic Trump supporters,” calling Republicans “the party of peace,” while calling Democrats “the party of violence,” according to The Associated Press.
She was later escorted away by city police moments after arriving, according to FOX 8 sister station WPIX.
Supporters gathered Tuesday morning, AP reported. Anti-Trump protesters later joined, carrying a large banner that read, “Trump Lies All the Time.”
10 a.m. Gov. Mike DeWine, speaking Tuesday on former President Trump’s criminal charges, said: “No one can be happy to see an ex-president of the United States indicted.”
DeWine on Tuesday visited schools in Warrensville Heights and Akron to observe classroom activities, according to his office.
“The system will work, this country will survive and we will move on,” said DeWine.
9:00 a.m. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrived at court Tuesday morning in New York ahead of former President Donald Trump’s arraignment, according to the Associated Press.
5:00 a.m. We won’t be able to see exactly what happens during the arraignment because a judge decided late last night to not allow cameras in the courtroom because of the media frenzy that it would cause.
Overnight: The former president spent the night in Trump Tower before he will head to a Manhattan courtroom to face more than 30 charges, including at least one felony.
Below is a timeline of when the former president is expected to appear in court:
After the arraignment Trump will head back to Mar-a-Lago where he is expected to address his indictment around 8:15 Tuesday night. Although it is possible the judge could issue a gag order in the case.
Trump’s legal troubles stem from a $130,000 “hush money” payment to silence porn actress Stormy Daniels about an alleged affair.
Prosecutors claim the payments were illegal because they were connected to his 2016 campaign for president. Trump has repeatedly claimed the indictment is part of a “witch-hunt.”
Monday, April 3, 2023
Trump gave a brief wave as he entered Trump Tower in Manhattan on Monday afternoon.
Trump arrived at New York’s LaGuardia airport on his private 757 jet, walked off, and jumped into his motorcade, which took him through the city.
A small group of Trump supporters, as well as opponents of the former president, gathered.
There are massive security measures and a heavy police presence around Trump Tower and the courthouse, where Trump will be processed and arraigned.