Trump indictment live updates: Trump’s lawyer talks next steps ahead of arraignment


(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump is expected to appear in a New York City court for an arraignment on Tuesday, after being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury last week.

He is the first former U.S. president to be indicted. Although the document remains sealed, sources familiar told ABC News that Trump has been charged with around two dozen counts, including felonies.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Apr 04, 10:04 AM EDT
Rep. George Santos, protesters congregate outside courthouse

Former President Donald Trump isn’t expected in lower Manhattan for another few hours, but the circus outside the courthouse is well underway.

Protesters from both sides are gathering outside, some with flags reading “Trump or Death.” Republican Rep. George Santos is among those outside the courthouse.

The streets surrounding the New York Criminal Court are largely blocked off. A robust police presence is busily shepherding onlookers past a row of television cameras.

-ABC News’ Lucien Bruggeman

Apr 04, 7:36 AM EDT
‘There will be no guilty plea,’ Trump’s lawyer says

Just hours before Donald Trump was expected to turn himself in to New York City authorities to face criminal charges, his lawyer Joe Tacopina insisted Friday that the former president will not be pleading guilty.

“Really, there’s a lot of mystery here because we’re doing something that’s never been done before,” Tacopina told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview on Good Morning America.

“One thing I can assure you as I sit here today is there will be no guilty plea in this case,” he added. “That is one thing I can guarantee you.”

Tacopina said Trump won’t be put in handcuffs but “he’ll be processed the way anyone else would be, to a degree — again, with Secret Service involvement.”

“I think there will be a typical processing, which does not take long — 20, 30 minutes,” he said. “And then we’ll appear before a judge, you know, deal with a couple issues right off the bat and it won’t be a long day in court.”

That’s when authorities will unseal Trump’s indictment, revealing the exact charges against him.

“They have not shared it with us, won’t share it with us until it’s unsealed,” Tacopina said. “But we know the basis of the indictment and the factual allegations in the indictment.”

Trump’s defense team plans to make “a lot of motions” once they see the indictment, according to Tacopina.

“I don’t think this case is going to see a jury. I think it’s going to go away on papers,” he said. “I think there’s a legal challenge that will be made and should be made successfully.”

When asked about speculation that the judge might impose a gag order, Tacopina said there was “no indication” of that.

“It can’t happen in this case,” he added. “The defendant is the leading Republican candidate for the office of the president of the United States and will be campaigning. Hard to put a gag order when he’s going to be fielding questions about his current legal situation.”

After court, Trump plans to travel back to Palm Beach, Florida, where he will make a statement at his Mar-a-Lago estate, according to Tacopina.

Trump’s attorney talks how he will fight criminal charges

Following Donald Trump’s unprecedented indictment by a Manhattan grand jury last Thursday, the former president begins the first steps in the criminal justice process.

Trump surrenders to authorities

The Manhattan district attorney’s office said it has been in contact with Trump’s lawyers to arrange his surrender to authorities in order to begin criminal proceedings.

Trump, a Florida resident, traveled to New York City on Monday and spent the night at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan before his arraignment in lower Manhattan on Tuesday. The former president must adhere to the court’s deadline and be processed by authorities before heading to court for the unsealing of the indictment.

Trump is processed by authorities

Processing typically involves being fingerprinted and photographed for a mug shot, but experts say those may not occur in Trump’s case because the former president is not a flight risk. Similarly, Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina told ABC News last Friday that the former “president will not be put in handcuffs.”

It is also unlikely that Trump will be publicly transported to the courtroom by police, according to Cheryl Bader, an associate clinical professor of law at Fordham University in New York City.

“With white-collar crime, we see that a lot of [suspects] have the privilege of being able to turn themselves in instead of being arrested and put in handcuffs,” Bader told ABC News during a recent interview.

Trump appears in court, makes plea

During the court appearance, which typically takes place in a courtroom without cameras in New York state, the former president will be read his charges and ordered to make a plea. Trump and his lawyers have indicated they intend to fight the indictment in court.

Following his plea, the judge will have the right to remand Trump on bail or release him on his own recognizance before adjourning for a future date. Bader said that judges rarely order suspects in white-collar crimes to be held in jail before their trial, and she expected that the judge will release Trump after the hearing.

In some cases, especially if the suspect is a flight risk, a judge may place restrictions on the suspect such as holding onto their passport, but Bader said it is unclear if the judge will go that far.

Judge hears motions, sets next court date

Following the judge’s order, Trump’s lawyers will have the opportunity to review the indictment charges and make motions regarding the case, including seeking to have the charges dismissed or evidence suppressed, or requesting a change of venue.

Several pre-trial hearings and motions are expected in the case, as Trump’s lawyers have repeatedly made claims that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation is a political attack, according to Bader.

“I’m sure the case is going to be very litigated and take a lot of time to wind its way through the system,” Bader told ABC News.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky, Ivan Pereira and Will Steakin

Apr 03, 10:16 PM EDT
Judge issues decision on cameras in court Tuesday

Judge Juan Merchan will allow five pool still photographers to snap for several minutes before the arraignment formally starts, according to a decision issued Monday night.

No video cameras will be allowed, though Judge Merchan conceded, “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.”

The judge said he needed to balance other interests.

No electronic devices will be allowed in either the main or overflow courtrooms, the judge ruled.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky

Apr 03, 4:25 PM EDT
Trump arrives at Trump Tower

Former President Donald Trump has arrived at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan where he’ll spend the night Monday before his arraignment in lower Manhattan on Tuesday.

Trump briefly waved as he departed his motorcade and walked into the side entrance of the building on 56th Street Monday afternoon.

-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin

Apr 03, 3:41 PM EDT
Biden says he has faith in legal system, not worried about unrest

President Joe Biden said Monday he has faith in the legal system as he made his most extensive comments yet on former President Donald Trump’s indictment.

While touring a manufacturing facility in Minnesota, a reporter asked Biden if he was worried about unrest, and the president replied, “No. I have faith in the New York Police Department.”

Asked if he has faith in the legal system at this point, the president responded, “Yes.”

On Friday, in an exchange with reporters outside the White House, Biden repeatedly declined to comment on the indictment.

-ABC News’ Ben Gittleson

Apr 03, 3:37 PM EDT
Trump lands in New York City

Former President Donald Trump has just touched down in New York, ahead of his arraignment Tuesday.

Trump’s plane landed at LaGuardia Airport, and is now expected to head to Trump Tower.

-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin

Apr 03, 1:50 PM EDT
Trump opposes cameras in court

Former President Donald Trump on Monday opposed the presence of cameras in the courtroom for his Tuesday arraignment.

“It will create a circus-like atmosphere at the arraignment, raise unique security concerns, and is inconsistent with President Trump’s presumption of innocence,” Trump’s attorney Susan Necheles said.

A coalition of news organizations, including ABC News, has filed motions with the court, seeking access to cover and record the hearing Tuesday.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to take a position on the matter.

Judge Juan Merchan has not yet ruled.

-ABC News’ Josh Margolin

Apr 03, 1:18 PM EDT
Trump expands legal team with top white-collar defense attorney

Former President Donald Trump is expanding his legal team, hiring a former federal prosecutor and white-collar defense attorney to lead his defense ahead of Tuesday’s arraignment, sources said.

Todd Blanche, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, recently resigned from his law firm to take on this new role, according to sources. Blanche has represented high-profile clients like Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Igor Fruman, an ex-associate to Rudy Giuliani.

Blanche is expected to travel with Trump from Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan to the courthouse in lower Manhattan on Tuesday, the sources said. Blanche didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

-ABC News’ John Santucci and Katherine Faulders

Apr 03, 1:00 PM EDT
Trump en route to New York

Former President Donald Trump has departed Florida’s Palm Beach International Airport bound for New York City.

Dozens of Trump supporters lined the streets to cheer the former president on as his motorcade headed to the airport.

Some wore shirts saying, “Trump did nothing wrong.”

“People want to support [Trump] because, basically, they see him as an underdog at this point, and which he is,” Whit Taylor told ABC News as he watched the motorcade. “He’s being harassed and pushed around by people who are just haters. I mean that’s the bottom line — they just hate people.”

Trump is expected to stay in Manhattan Monday night before appearing in court for an arraignment on Tuesday.

Apr 03, 12:38 PM EDT
No specific credible threat in NYC, mayor says

As New York City gears up for former President Donald Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams said “there has been no specific credible threat.”

“All New Yorkers should go on with their regular activities” on Tuesday, Adams said at a news conference Monday, adding that New Yorkers should expect “some disruptions,” including traffic and street closures.

New Yorkers may also see an additional police presence, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. She encouraged people to use mass transit when possible.

Sewell said any protests should be peaceful and orderly.

The mayor warned that violence and vandalism won’t be tolerated, and said anyone caught participating in violence will be arrested.

Adams called out Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who said she’s planning to come to New York to support Trump, urging her and others to “be on your best behavior.”

Apr 03, 6:32 AM EDT
Poll shows plurality of the public supports Trump indictment

A plurality of Americans think former President Donald Trump should have been charged by a Manhattan grand jury with a history-making indictment.

According to the poll, 45% think Trump should have been charged with a crime in this case, whereas 32% don’t think so and 23% say they don’t know.

Democrats are, unsurprisingly, rallying behind the grand jury’s decision.

Almost nine in 10 Democrats (88%) think Trump should have been charged in the investigation by the Manhattan D.A., which has been probing a $130,000 hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels who alleges the two had an affair. Trump has long denied these claims.

-ABC News’ Brittany Shepherd

Apr 03, 6:01 AM EDT
‘I just don’t know what to expect to see,’ Trump’s lawyer says

Donald Trump’s lawyer doesn’t know what to expect when the former president is arraigned on Tuesday in New York City given the historic nature of Trump’s indictment, he said on Sunday.

“This is unprecedented. I don’t know. I’ve done a million arraignments in that courthouse with celebrities and whatnot. But this is a whole different thing. We have Secret Service involved. I understand they’re closing the courthouse for the afternoon. I just don’t know what to expect to see,” Joe Tacopina told ABC This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“What I hope is that we get in and out of there as quickly as possible, that it’s, at the end of the day, a typical arraignment where we stand before the judge, we say ‘not guilty,’ we set schedules to file motions and whatnot or discovery, and we move forward and get out of there,” Tacopina said.

-ABC News’ Tal Axelrod

Apr 03, 5:26 AM EDT
Trump expected to travel to New York on Monday

Former President Donald Trump is expected to travel to New York on Monday, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday at the earliest, the sources said, on what is expected to be around two dozen counts – including felonies.

The exact charges are unknown since the indictment will not be unsealed until Trump appears in court.

-ABC News’ Aaron Katersky, Katherine Faulders, John Santucci

Apr 02, 11:09 AM EDT
Trump to speak at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night

Following his expected arraignment on Tuesday in New York City, former President Donald Trump announced he would speak that evening from Mar-a-Lago.

The former president is slated to give remarks at 8:15 p.m., according to a press release.

-ABC News’ Olivia Rubin

Apr 02, 10:33 AM EDT
America split on Trump indictment: Poll

While 45% of Americans believe former President Donald Trump should face charges in an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, 32% say he shouldn’t have been indicted, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll.

Another 23% of American say they don’t know whether the nation’s 45th president should face charges.

While the charges have not been announced, a Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump had been hearing evidence in a $130,000 hush money payment Trump allegedly made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims they had an affair. Trump has denied the allegations.

The poll showed a split in opinions along party lines. While 88% of Democrats said Trump should face charges, 62%, of Republicans said the former president should not have been charged while 16% said he should be charged, and the remainder was uncertain.

About 47% of Americans polled say the charges are politically motivated, echoing the sentiment from top GOP figures. About 79% of Republicans hold that view.

-ABC News’ Brittany Shepherd

Mar 31, 6:08 PM EDT
Why Trump indictment might hinge on a ‘novel legal theory’

As legal experts speculate on what charges lay inside the sealed indictment ahead of former President Donald Trump’s expected surrender on Tuesday afternoon, many predict that prosecutors could try out a new legal theory to justify bringing the charges.

“This could be a novel legal theory,” said Kate Shaw, a law professor at Cardozo and ABC News contributor, speculating on what charges the public could see against Trump while stressing it’s unknown until the indictment is unsealed.

-ABC News’ Libby Cathey

Mar 31, 5:31 PM EDT
Trump faces around 2 dozen counts, including felonies, sources say

Former President Donald Trump has been charged with around two dozen counts, including felonies, sources familiar with the sealed indictment told ABC News.

The exact charges remain unknown since the indictment will not be unsealed until Trump appears in court on Tuesday.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment.

Mar 31, 4:51 PM EDT
Senate sergeant at arms warns of potential demonstration activity

The Senate sergeant at arms is warning of potential demonstration activity related to the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

“While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity,” an email obtained by ABC News said.

Capitol Police “is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the email said, adding that there could be “nationwide impacts to Senate state offices.”

The Capitol Police declined to comment and the sergeant at arms didn’t immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

-ABC News’ Luke Barr

Mar 31, 12:56 PM EDT
Ivanka Trump speaks out

Former President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, reacted to the indictment on Instagram Friday, writing, “I love my father, and I love my country. Today, I am pained for both.”

She added, “I appreciate the voices across the political spectrum expressing support and concern.”

Mar 31, 12:30 PM EDT
How DA could use hush money payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal to bolster Trump case

Sources familiar with the matter told ABC News the Manhattan district attorney’s office is also investigating a $150,000 payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who, like Stormy Daniels, claimed to have had an affair with Donald Trump.

The former president has denied having an affair with either woman and has called the investigation a witch hunt.

McDougal was paid for the rights to her story in August 2016 by American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer, which did not publish it, a practice known as catch and kill.

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, has said he recorded Trump discussing reimbursement to American Media for the payment to McDougal, but the payment was never made.

Trump has not responded to ABC News’ request for comment but in a 2018 interview with Fox News, he claimed he wasn’t aware of any payment made to AMI to facilitate the alleged hush agreement.

Mar 31, 12:27 PM EDT
Judge signs order allowing DA to publicly acknowledge indictment

Judge Juan Merchan has signed this order allowing the Manhattan district attorney’s office to publicly acknowledge the indictment.

The People v Donald J Trump. This is the order allowing the DA to publicly acknowledge the indictment

— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) March 31, 2023

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