After Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg secured the grand jury vote to indict Donald Trump, the former president is reportedly scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday by acting Justice Juan Merchan after 2:15 p.m. ET.
Merchan is the same judge that presided over Bragg's tax fraud prosecution of Trump's company last year.
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Trump will reportedly remain at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, through the weekend, and travel to Manhattan on Monday, sources told CNN.
According to a News 4 New York reporter, he will fly to La Guardia Airport and stay at Trump Tower before surrending for his court appearance on Tuesday. The report cited two senior officials familiar with the matter.
The grand jury voted Thursday to indict the former president. The indictment was sealed, but Reuters reported Friday a judge is now authorizing Bragg to make the existence of the indictment public, Reuters reported.
It is not clear whether that news will merely tell the country what media is already widely reporting, or whether the nature of the charges against Trump might be coming out before Tuesday's arraignment.
The chain of events in Manhattan court are, according to reports:
- Indictment (Thursday)
- Surrender or arrest (perhaps as soon as Monday)
- First court appearance: Booked and fingerprinted (Tuesday)
- Arraignment, which could also be the first appearance, particularly if a plea is entered (Tuesday no sooner than 2:15 p.m. ET)
Trump will be fingerprinted and have a mugshot taken but Joe Tacopina, one of Trump's lawyers, said the former president would not be placed in handcuffs.
Heavy security has been put in place around the Manhattan courthouse where Trump is to be booked on charges that have not been made public yet.
"I'm sure they'll try to make sure they get some joy out of this by parading him," Tacopina said of the New York prosecutors who filed the case against Trump.
A grand jury indicted Trump after hearing testimony from a number of witnesses about a $130,000 payment to adult film actor Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an affair she had with Trump in 2006.
Following his booking, the 76-year-old Trump will be arraigned before a judge at which time he will be presented with the charges and enter a plea.
The judge then decides whether a defendant should be released on bail or taken into custody.
Tacopina said Trump will plead not guilty.
Once Trump is arraigned and enters a plea, there will be a series of preliminary court hearings to set a date for a trial and decide on witnesses and evidence.
Tacopina said he would seek to have the charges dismissed without going to trial but that there is "zero" chance the former president enters into a plea agreement with prosecutors.
"President Trump will not take a plea deal in this case," he told NBC's "Today." "It's not going to happen. There's no crime."
While the criminal charges remain sealed, it is difficult to predict whether a potential conviction could see the unprecedented situation of a U.S. president being sentenced to prison.
The charges against Trump are believed to involve business fraud and campaign-finance violations, but whether they rise to the level of felonies — which carry potential jail time — is unknown for now.
Trump has no criminal record and whether he would be sentenced to prison in the event of a conviction remains to be seen.
Trump can — and undoubtedly will — pursue his 2024 White House campaign despite facing criminal charges.
Nothing in the Constitution prevents someone from running for the nation's highest office while facing charges, and even a conviction would not bar him from serving as president.
Information from Agence France-Presse was used in this report.
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