The planned surrender and arraignment of former President Donald Trump in New York on Tuesday, after being indicted on criminal charges by a Manhattan grand jury, will be a "massive circus," former acting U.S. Attorney General Matt Whitaker told Newsmax Friday.
"It's going be, I guess, just a massive circus," Whitaker said during "Spicer & Co." Friday. Everybody's going to want to get into that courtroom, everyone's going to want the court drawings of the president.
"Everyone's going to want the mug shot, everybody's going want every salacious detail, and I think, unfortunately, it's going to take away from a very sober legal proceeding, and a very sad day in American history that we will probably look back [and see] as a black mark on the rule of law, and when prosecutors overstepped their discretion."
Reuters reported Friday that Trump is scheduled to be fingerprinted, photographed, and arraigned on criminal charges in New York Tuesday afternoon after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's grand jury indicted the former president Thursday.
The case, the first ever criminal prosecution of a current or former president, involves a 2016 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels for keeping quiet about an alleged affair the two had years earlier. Trump has maintained that he didn't have an affair.
The charges included in the indictment remain under seal, but a New York judge authorized Bragg to make the charges against Trump public, the report said.
Whitaker said the nation will learn through this case if the American justice system can handle such a "significant" case.
In a post on Truth Social Thursday, Trump said the indictment was an "attack on our country like we've never seen before," calling Bragg and other Democrats pushing for the indictment, "thugs."
"A continuing attack on our once free and fair elections, the U.S.A. is now a third world nation," Trump said in the post. "A nation in serious decline. So sad!"
Whitaker said that there could be a gag order imposed during the case that would not allow anyone involved, including Trump, from commenting on what happens during the proceedings.
"There's going to be a motion to transfer venue. A motion to dismiss. There's going to be all types of defense motions, but there's also going to be, I'm expecting, a motion from Alvin Bragg to place a gag order and not allow anyone within the case to speak, including Donald Trump," Whitaker said.
"That probably is going to be challenged on First Amendment grounds, but we've seen gag orders in the past in high profile cases, and that will test the former president and his ability to communicate with his supporters."
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