Former US President Donald Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination, will be formally charged on Tuesday in a watershed moment ahead of next year’s presidential election.
Trump, 76, is the first former president to face criminal charges. He was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury last week in a case stemming from a 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Follow our blog for live coverage of his historic arraignment. All times are Paris time (GMT+2).
7:05pm: Trump supporters, critics face off outside courtroom
Trump supporters and detractors are noisily rallying outside the Manhattan courthouse where he is due to appear, separated by barricades set up by police to try to keep order.
A limousine carrying a Trump impersonator wearing a red hat and giving a thumbs-up gesture drove past the scene near Trump Tower, flanked by a pickup truck flying pro-Trump flags.
Meanwhile, his critics held signs including one of Trump dressed in a striped jail uniform behind bars and another that read, “Lock Him Up”.
Standing by is ‘s New York correspondent Jessica Le Masurier. Here’s her latest report:
6:55pm: Fingerprints – but no mug shot?
Once he surrenders to the authorities at Manhattan Criminal Court, Trump is likely to undergo the standard booking procedure of being fingerprinted – and potentially photographed, which would result in an all-time famous mug shot. However, ‘s Douglas Herbert said an amended New York law meant the authorities were unlikely to make such a photo public.
The government is unlikely to release a “mug shot” photo of #Trump after his #arraignment. Under an amended New York law, the release of such images is banned unless police determine that doing so is necessary for law enforcement purposes. #F24
Douglas Herbert (@dougf24) April 4, 2023
There is no precedent for a former president’s surrender to court authorities, and it remains to be seen whether the unpredictable Trump will follow procedure.
Joe Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers, said the former president would not be placed in handcuffs. A “perp walk” – in which a defendant is escorted in handcuffs past media cameras – is unlikely for an ex-president under US Secret Service protection.
6:40pm: Ex-president alleges ‘political persecution’
The twice-impeached Republican claims he is the victim of “political persecution” – but is also using the court case to energise his support base and raise millions of dollars for his bid to reclaim the White House next year.
He plans to speak to reporters as he walks through the hallways toward court, one of his lawyers told CNN. “THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS HAVE CRIMINALIZED THE JUSTICE SYSTEM,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social hours before the hearing, branding the legal proceedings a “kangaroo court.”
6:35pm: Trump to plead not guilty at historic arraignment
Donald Trump is set to plead not guilty to criminal charges in a New York courtroom later today, in an unprecedented case that threatens to upend the 2024 White House race.
Trump is the first sitting or former American president to be criminally indicted – a historic development that has propelled the United States into uncharted political waters.
Amid tight security in Manhattan, and a global media frenzy, the 76-year-old will learn at his arraignment precisely what charges he faces over hush money paid to a porn star ahead of the 2016 election that brought him to power.