NEW YORK—Hundreds of passionate supporters and opponents of Donald Trump turned out Tuesday for his scheduled arrest and arraignment at Manhattan Criminal Court, creating a carnival-like scene here.
A Manhattan grand jury last week indicted Trump on charges believed related to the payment of supposed hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels before his race for president in 2016. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, led the investigation that produced a controversial sealed indictment delivered late Thursday to the court.
Here is some of what I saw and tweeted about—including video—beginning just after 11 a.m. Tuesday outside the courthouse in Manhattan, before Trump arrived to turn himself in to authorities for processing and for his arraignment. The former president was expected to plead not guity to all charges.
The first criminal charges brought against a former president attracted many supporters who seem to agree with Trump that if a politically weaponized justice system can do this to a former president, it can do the same or worse to any American.
The specific criminal charges in the sealed indictment, said to number 34 felony counts, were expected to be revealed during the arraignment, from which all cameras were banned by order of New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan. The judge allowed five photographers to take still photos of Trump and the scene inside the courtroom before the hearing began.
Supporters echoed Trump’s characterization of his indictment as a continuation of the “witch hunt” by political opponents that plagued him both during and after his presidency.
Opponents and supporters of the 45th president traded chants and gibes with each other.
Trump opponents on the scene seemed to enjoy characterizing the former president’s political supporters as Nazis.
One woman who turned out to revel in Trump’s arraignment was scantily dressed and delighted in writhing and twerking for cameras, which The Daily Signal can’t show as a family publication.
The crowd seemed to become more animated as Trump’s expected arrival at the courthouse neared.
Authorities wisely tried to keep Trump opponents separated from his supporters.
Here is a good example of how many of Trump’s supporters seem to feel on this historic day.
Amid all this, it was somehow reassuring to see an impersonator dressed up as Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s first Republican president.
I was able to move over to the area where police confined Trump opponents.
Both sides continued to blow off steam by yelling at each other.
Bragg’s record as a soft-on-crime prosecutor clearly annoyed Trump supporters who view this prosecution as politically motivated. As I wrote last week, for those on the Left who openly support the Trump indictment, one of the go-to lines has been: “Nobody is above the law!”
But as I wrote, Bragg became infamous for a Day One memo highlighting how under his leadership, many serious crimes wouldn’t be prosecuted. And they haven’t been.
By the time we got word that Trump had arrived at the courthouse to “surrender” himself to authorities, the crowd was huge.
Occasional moments of levity made the scene outside the courthouse more surreal.
The exterior of Manhattan Criminal Court also features an ironic statement of equal treatment under the law in America.
And, of course, you couldn’t miss the presence of New York’s finest all over the place.
Ken McIntyre contributed to this report on a developing story that will be updated.
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