Donald Trump
Donald Trump would be charged with 34 felonies for falsifying business records. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The former president and front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2024, Donald Trump, arrived in New York City on Monday, Apr. 3, for a historic court appearance to face charges related to an investigation into hush money payments made to a porn star.

Trump was scheduled to turn himself in at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office on Tuesday, Apr. 4.

He will probably be fingerprinted before appearing before a judge for an arraignment where he will enter a not-guilty plea. Security measures have been taken in New York, and the mayor has warned potential "rabble-rousers" to behave.

Trump, 76, is the first former or sitting U.S. president to face criminal charges, Reuters reported.

Late on Monday, Yahoo News reported that Trump would be charged with 34 felonies for falsifying business records. According to Yahoo, none of the accusations against Trump were misdemeanors, citing a lone source briefed on Tuesday's court proceedings.

After a 3-and-a-half-hour trip from West Palm Beach, close to his Florida home, Trump's plane arrived at LaGuardia Airport in Queens.

Wearing a blue suit and a red tie, Trump descended a flight of steps by himself before getting into an SUV and riding in a convoy to Trump Tower in Manhattan.

As he arrived, he nodded to onlookers and entered without saying anything in public.

Todd Blanco, a well-known white-collar criminal defense attorney, and former federal prosecutor joined Trump's legal team to strengthen it, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Trump's lawyers opposed videography, photography, and radio coverage of the arraignment, where a defendant is brought to court to hear charges and have a chance to enter a plea, saying it would "exacerbate an already almost circus-like atmosphere around this case," detracting from dignity and decorum.

Five photographers will be permitted in before the arraignment begins, and they may use cameras in the building's halls to shoot images for some time before they must cease. This was decided by Judge Juan Merchan late on Monday.

The Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump heard evidence for months this year about a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Daniels has said she was paid to keep silent about a sexual encounter she had with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006. Trump denies having had any such relationship with her.

Paul Manafort, the chairman of Trump's 2016 campaign, was previously defended by Blanche when Manafort was faced with New York state fraud charges after receiving a jail sentence for federal offenses.

The state charges were eventually dismissed, and Trump pardoned Manafort before leaving office. Blanche also previously represented Igor Fruman, who was an associate of former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani.

The particular charges included in the indictment by a grand jury that Bragg, a Democrat, called together have not yet been made public. Trump claims to be innocent. He and his allies have claimed that the accusations are made for political reasons.

A motorcade of several vehicles took Trump at midday from his Mar-a-Lago estate to the airport in nearby West Palm Beach. Trump climbed out of an SUV before he and members of his entourage climbed a set of stairs to enter his plane.

Trump said on social media he would head to the courthouse on Tuesday morning.

According to senior adviser Jason Miller, Trump's campaign raised $7 million in the three days following the announcement of the indictment last Thursday, Mar. 30.

The campaign on Monday issued the latest in a series of fundraising emails, aiming for the media's reporting on his indictment.

The arraignment was scheduled for Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT), according to a court representative.

After that, Bragg will have a press conference. Trump will return to Florida and deliver remarks from Mar-a-Lago at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday (0015 GMT on Wednesday, Mar. 29), his office said.

The New York case is one of several probes Trump faces.

Among Republicans, Trump's lead has widened over rivals in the party's presidential nominating contest, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday, conducted after news broke that Trump would face criminal charges.

Some 48% of self-described Republicans say they want Trump to be their party's presidential nominee, up from 44% in a March 14-20 poll.

Over the weekend, New York police started setting up barricades close to Trump Tower and the Manhattan Criminal Court building. Protests were anticipated at such locations on Tuesday.

Democratic mayor Eric Adams claimed there was no specific security concern that was known.

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