Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday made a highly publicized journey from his Florida home to his previous home of New York City, ahead of an unprecedented booking and arraignment expected to happen later today.
Trump will become the first former U.S. president to be booked and arraigned for payments allegedly issued during his first presidential campaign, according to the Associated Press.
The former president arrived to Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan flanked by heavy security, and he is expected to turn himself in without issue.
While city officials have expressed concern about the former president’s supporters, only a few were seen near Trump Tower on Monday night, where “Trump 2024” banners were on display.
“While there may be some rabble-rousers thinking about coming to our city tomorrow, our message is clear and simple: Control yourselves,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said.
In his statement, the mayor issued a direct warning to Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is said to be organizing a rally in support of Trump at a park across from the courthouse where the arraignment will take place.
“Although we have no specific threats, people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is known to spread misinformation and hate speech, she’s stated she’s coming to town,” the mayor said, saying to the congresswoman, “While you’re in town, be on your best behavior.”
Trump is facing multiple charges related to payments to two women, former Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn actress Stormy Daniels.
While the payments have been described by many in the media as “hush money” related to allegations of sexual encounters, Trump denied any relationship with either woman, claiming the payments were made to prevent distractions from his 2016 campaign.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, reportedly served time on charges related to the payment to Daniels.
Trump demonstrated a media savvy in his first election campaign, which ultimately helped to propel him beyond his Republican opponents. He currently seems to be benefiting from the increased media coverage related to his indictment. Trump senior advisor Jason Miller said Trump’s campaign has raised $7 million since the announcement of the indictment. Trump’s son, Eric, posted photos of the media coverage about his father to social media yesterday.
An online poll by Reuters following the indictment announcement found that 48% of self-described Republicans wanted Trump to be the Republican presidential nominee, representing an increase over a poll done one week earlier.
The arraignment of Trump will not be highly publicized, however, as New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan ruled yesterday that “the use of cell phones, laptops or any electronic devices will be strictly prohibited in the courtrooms.”
According to the judge, despite the “monumental significance” to the case, the court’s impartiality outweighs public interest.
“The populace rightly hungers for the most accurate and current information available,” said Merchan, but noted that the court had to balance the interests of the media against the interests of a fair trial.
“Unfortunately, although genuine and undoubtedly important, the interests of the news organizations must be weighed against competing interests. This court is now called upon to engage in that balancing exercise,” he said.
Both Trump’s legal team and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg argued against the presence of cameras in the courtroom during the proceedings.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.