Former US President Donald Trump to be arraigned on April 4 in Manhattan


Former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned in Manhattan criminal court around 2:15 pm ET Tuesday (April 4) following his indictment on Thursday, two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN. An arraignment is the formal legal process of bringing an accused in front of a judge or a magistrate to hear the charges and plead guilty or not guilty. 

Officials involved in the planning of Trump’s appearance are considering pausing all other case activity at the court during the time that the former president is expected to appear, according to a source with knowledge of the plans.

An adjournment of all other matters at the courthouse Tuesday afternoon would reduce the amount of foot traffic in the building for security reasons, the source said.

Trump’s attorney said the former president will “absolutely” voluntarily surrender to New York law enforcement and plans to file “substantial” legal challenges, reported CNN.

It’s the first time in US history that a current or former president has been criminally charged. The indictment was filed under seal and the charges are not yet public.

Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud in a Thursday indictment from a Manhattan grand jury.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been investigating the former president in connection with his alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential election.

Trump will travel to New York on Monday before his arraignment in the Manhattan criminal court on Tuesday, two sources familiar with this plans told CNN. Trump will remain at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach estate, over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Trump lashed out online at the judge he is expected to appear before Tuesday, accusing Judge Juan Merchan of “railroading” former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in a previous case.

Calling the allegations against him a “Witch Hunt Case,” Trump claimed in a Truth Social post that the judge “HATES” him.

Merchan is the “same person who ‘railroaded’ my 75-year-old former CFO, Allen Weisselberg, to take a ‘plea’ deal,” Trump wrote.

“He strong-armed Allen, which a judge is not allowed to do, & treated my companies, which didn’t ‘plead,’ VICIOUSLY,” the former president added.

Merchan oversaw the criminal tax fraud case against Weisselberg and two Trump Organization entities.

Weisselberg pleaded guilty and Merchan approved his plea deal, under which Weisselberg would serve five months in jail if he pleaded guilty to 15 felonies and testified truthfully at the trial of the Trump companies.

Weisselberg is expected to be released from Rikers Island next month.

The judge warned Weisselberg at his guilty pleas that he could face up to 15 years in prison if he deviated from this agreement.

At sentencing, Merchan said he found it “offensive” that Weisselberg fabricated a paycheck so his wife could receive federal benefits and wished he could have sentenced him to “a much greater” sentence.

During the investigation, the judge held the Trump entities in criminal contempt and fined them $4,000 for failing to comply with multiple grand jury subpoenas.

The judge kept his ruling under seal until after the verdict so it wouldn’t prejudice the case. The Trump entities were found guilty of multiple counts of tax fraud and falsifying business records. The judge handed down the maximum sentence, a fine of $1.6 million.

A Manhattan grand jury’s indictment of former President Donald Trump will set in motion a criminal process that will in some ways work like that of any other defendant, and in other ways, look very different.

Trump has repeatedly denied all wrongdoing and stressed that those probing him were making politically motivated accusations.

An arrest warrant is typically issued automatically after an indictment is filed against a defendant who has not been charged previously in a criminal complaint.

In the case of Donald Trump, the indictment was filed behind closed doors at the lower Manhattan courthouse after the clerk’s office was closed for the day.

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