Trump on his way to his historic court appearance in New York
Donald Trump left Monday to fight “battle” in New York where a criminal court must serve on Tuesday his indictment in a case of fraud linked to the payment of money to a porn star, a historic legal fact for a former President of the United States.
The questioning by justice of Donald Trump is all the more extraordinary since the 76-year-old Republican billionaire, who left the White House in noise and fury in January 2021, has relaunched himself in the race for the Republican nomination to win back the US presidency in November 2024.
From his posh residence in Mar-a-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida, which he left in a long car convoy, supported on the road to the airport by a few sympathizers – “It's an insult (…) Donald Trump is strong and will be our next president”, launched two of them – the 45th president of the United States (2017-2021) has prepared for the “battle” of New York according to his lawyers.
“Tuesday morning, believe it or not, I will be going to court. America was not supposed to be like that”, had launched Sunday evening on his Truth Social network the one who, indicted on March 30 by the Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg, proclaims his innocence, shouts at the “witch hunt” and rallied his supporters and Republican tenors to close ranks.
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“Death of the rule of law”
Tuesday “is the day, in my opinion, that the rule of law is dead in the United States,” the billionaire's lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, judged on television on Sunday.
The mogul of real estate, born in New York and where he prospered thanks to his fortune and his empire, must be served on Tuesday from 2:15 p.m. with criminal proceedings: they have not been made public, but are said to be 30 in number and would revolve around the accounting concealment of the reimbursement of a $130,000 payment at the end of 2016 to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
This summons, with an unprecedented ritual for a former head of state, should see Mr. Trump give his name, age, profession, submit to a fingerprinting and be photographed, as all warned.
According to Mr. Tacopina, he will not be handcuffed, but may have to walk through the halls of the Manhattan courthouse, in the presence of media, in a mess that is bound to be indescribable.
His security will be ensured by the Secret Service, the elite police that protects high American dignitaries.
Before the judge, “the president will plead not guilty”, because “there is no has no criminal offence, according to his defense. Donald Trump should then be released, perhaps under conditions, pending the organization of his trial.
Surprised and destabilized to be prosecuted in his hometown acquired by the Democrats, the man of Case wrote on Truth Social on Friday that he would not receive a “fair trial in New York.”
In this district of the courthouse, in lower Manhattan, under very high security and while the police have declared themselves “on alert” since Friday, supporters, including the elected Republican far-right Marjorie Taylor Greene, planned to demonstrate.
But New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, warned would-be “troublemakers” on Monday, urging them to “restrain themselves”.
Donald Trump who, with his supporters, has been accusing Joe Biden for two and a half years of having “cheated” and having “stolen” the presidential victory of November 2020, has planned to speak Tuesday evening at 8:15 p.m. back home in Florida.
Monday noon, the surroundings of the Trump Tower of the mythical 5th Avenue in Manhattan, where Donald Trump resides, were under high security, even the children's choir from a school in Wisconsin is giving a small concert in the basement of the skyscraper.
One file among others
The case that comes back to torment Donald Trump dates back to October 2016, just before his surprise election at the head of the first world power.
His personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who turned against him, had at the time paid $130,000 to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name was Stephanie Clifford, to buy her silence. The star of X assures that she had a sexual relationship with Donald Trump, married to Melania. What the interested party denies.
The magnate admitted that he had reimbursed Michael Cohen, but assures that the transaction was not illegal.
If the agreement made with Stormy Daniels was indeed authorized, it could however correspond to a campaign spending. However, the sum does not appear in the candidate's accounts and, on the contrary, was listed as “legal fees” in his company's documents.
The “Stormy Daniels” investigation, which had begun in New York in 2018, is just one of many threatening Donald Trump.
Federal justice has opened investigations into his role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and on his management of the presidential archives after his departure from the White House. A Georgia state prosecutor is also interested in pressure on election officials to challenge her 2020 presidential loss.
Meanwhile, her supporters want to believe that her impeachment will not will only solidify his candidacy in 2024, reinforcing their sense of a “conspiracy” against him.