- Trump travel Monday to New York, where he will stay in Trump Tower.
- Trump is set to be arraigned Tuesday on the first criminal charges against an ex-president.
- Legal experts warn against criticizing judge ahead of trial.
And Trump announced he will speak at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday from Mar-a-Lago, a chance to make his case in the court of public opinion as well as in the 2024 presidential race. He got another rival Sunday when former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson declared his candidacy.
Trump is expected to have his mug shot and fingerprints taken, have the formal charges read and then plead not guilty “loudly and proudly,” his lawyer Joe Tacopina told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. But the details haven’t been nailed down because the Secret Service will accompany Trump, he said.
Witnesses before the grand jury have described hush-money payments Trump directed former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to make to silence two women who claimed to have had sex with Trump before the 2016 election.
Legal experts expect a combination of misdemeanor charges alleging falsification of business records about the payments, combined with a felony such as a campaign finance violation. But Trump has denied wrongdoing and Tacopina said there is no documentation of false business records.
Here is what we expect in the case to start the week:
Donald Trump landed at La Guardia airport in New York about 3:27 p.m. after flying up from his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago for his arraignment set for Tuesday.
Trump’s motorcade from Mar-a-Lago to Palm Beach International Airport rolled along streets lined with people taking pictures and waving U.S. flags.
Cable networks including CNN and MSNBC covered the landing live.
– Bart Jansen
Donald Trump expanded his legal team a day before his scheduled arraignment in New York City.
Todd Blanche, an experience white collar defense lawyer from New York, will join Trump’s existing legal team, his campaign said.
Blanche’s past clients include Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign manager who in 2019 faced state charges that included falsifying business records. A judge dismissed those charges.
– David Jackson
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday urged potential protesters for Donald Trump’s arraignment – he singled out Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. – to be on their best behavior and threatened anyone who becomes violent with arrest.
“While there may be some rabble-rousers thinking about coming to our city tomorrow, our message is clear and simple: control yourselves,” Adams said. “New York is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger.”
He said there were no specific threats. But people like Greene, “who is known to spread misinformation and hate speech,” are expected to visit the city. New York Young Republicans announced she would attend a noon rally Tuesday at Collect Pond Park.
“While you are in town, be on your best behavior,” Adams said.
– Bart Jansen
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels says she is “kind of numb” now that the hush-money investigation stemming from her alleged affair with Donald Trump in 2006 has led to his criminal indictment – and that it has prompted death threats against her.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told the Times UK that the charges by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office amount to a vindication of her efforts to hold the former president accountable. But in her first interview since Trump’s indictment last Thursday, she said the as-yet-unspecific charges have put her in more personal danger than ever before.
“The first time it was like gold digger, slut, whore. You know, liar, whatever and this time it’s like, ‘I’m gonna murder you,’ “ she said of the threatening messages she has been getting.
– Josh Meyer
Donald Trump’s distinctive Boeing 757, which he calls Trump Force One with his name on the side and a U.S. flag on the tail, took off from Palm Beach International Airport about 1 p.m. Monday en route to New York.
Trump is heading back to New York for his scheduled arraignment Tuesday. He faces unspecified charges after he was indicted Thursday.
Cable networks such as CNN, Fox News and MSNBC covered the departure live.
— Bart Jansen
People lined the Florida streets along Trump’s route, taking video with their phones and waving U.S. flags, as his motorcade of black SUVs drove past on the way to the Palm Beach airport.
In New York, a few people stood outside Trump Tower, where the former president plans to spend the night before his scheduled arraignment Tuesday.
Brent Dey, 55, a videographer from Atlanta, posed on the crosswalk near Trump Tower holding a copy of the New York Times’ Friday edition, with the headline “Trump Indicted,” as his wife took his photo.
Dey and his family arrived Saturday to see Broadway shows and he wanted to commemorate the historic nature of Trump’s indictment.
“We need to return back to debates about policy, and debates about how the differing parties view moving this country ahead,” he said. “Not making ourselves a cult of personality around one person.”
— Eduardo Cuevas and Bart Jansen
Lawyers for Trump, Cohen each bank on credibility in arguing charges
Tacopina and Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, foreshadowed the fight over credibility Sunday in any eventual trial.
Tacopina called Cohen a convicted liar who “is constitutionally incapable of telling the same story the same way twice.” Tacopina said there is no documentation of Trump falsifying business records, the central charges anticipated in the indictment, which remains under seal.
“I know there is no such evidence,” Tacopina said. “Michael Cohen is a pathological, convicted liar.”
Davis said Cohen and other witnesses have provided testimony and documentation. Cohen has already been imprisoned in part because he arranged for $280,000 in hush payments to Stormy Daniels, a porn actress, and Karen McDougal, a Playboy model.
“Michael Cohen submitted a lot of documentation,” Davis said. “There are other documents from other people and other testimony from other people.”
Trump lawyer expects ‘painless and classy’ arraignment
Tacopina said he’s participated in hundreds of arraignments but never had the Secret Service involved before. He doesn’t expect to make detailed legal arguments because the charges will be freshly unveiled.
“Hopefully this will be as painless and classy as possible,” Tacopina said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will explain the charges in detail, but legal experts don’t expect all the evidence behind the charges to be revealed.
Trump has criticized the judge, Acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who oversaw the case against the Trump Organization. But Tacopina said he had no problem with Merchan.
“I have no reason to believe the judge is biased,” Tacopina said.
Cyrus Vance Jr., the former Manhattan district attorney, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” the judge would seek firm control over the case.
“He’s going to want to set a firm trial date. He’s going to want to maintain firm control over all the parties,” Vance said. That could end up in some flare-ups between the parties and the court.
Trump to speak Tuesday at Mar-a-Lago
Trump’s campaign announced he would deliver remarks Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. at Mar-a-Lago.
He has been posting on his social media platform, Truth Social, his criticism of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and what he calls a politically motivated prosecution. But the speech will be a chance for voters – and potential jurors – to hear his reaction to the charges.
Vance expected Cohen to be “attacked heavily.” But Vance warned against allegedly breaking any other laws, such as obstruction of governmental administration, which could strengthen a case some observers consider “not the strongest.”
“It can change the jury’s mind about the severity of the case they’re looking at,” Vance said.