No Mug Shot as Trump Gets Arraigned on 34 Felony Counts in NYC
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a historic moment, former President Donald Trump was arraigned Tuesday afternoon in New York City on criminal charges stemming from a grand jury indictment. It's the first time in history a U.S. president has become a criminal defendant.
He pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy in a case focusing on his alleged role in hush money payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump and his legal team remain adamant he did nothing wrong, insisting it's just another "political witch hunt."
After the arraignment, he headed back to Florida to deliver remarks from his estate in Mar-a-Lago.
Throughout the day the former president lashed out at both the district attorney and judge involved in the case, accusing D.A. Alvin Bragg of illegally leaking the charges included in the indictment and calling on him to resign. He also accused Bragg and the judge of being "Trump haters."
Trump surrendered to authorities around 1:30 p.m. and was fingerprinted and processed inside the courthouse. He was not put into handcuffs or required to take a mug shot.
Tonight, the National Faith Advisory Board is holding a prayer call for Trump, the nation, and for righteousness to rule. Organizers say Trump plans to be a part of that ahead of his Mar-a-Lago remarks.
"We don't know how substantive these charges are. This case is thought to be the lesser in severity compared to the other investigations still ongoing in which the former president could face indictments," Nathan Gonzales from Inside Elections told CBN News' Faith Nation on Monday.
The sealed indictment was leaked on Monday night, revealing Trump will be charged with 34 felony counts for falsification of business records. Trump released a statement on Truth Social calling for District Attorney Alvin Bragg to be indicted for the leak.
Gonzales tells CBN News that Republicans need to wait and see what the charges are before rushing to the former president's defense. "Just because it's a political investigation or that the investigator, the DA in this case, has a political motive doesn't mean that President Trump is innocent," explained Gonzales. "He can still be guilty even if it's a political investigation."
Police set up barricades in preparation for protests near the downtown Manhattan courthouse where Trump was being arraigned. New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued a pointed message to protestors Monday. "Our message is clear and simple: control yourselves," said Adams. "NYC is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger."
Legal experts warn this court battle could be slow and play out well beyond the 2024 presidential election.
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