In a stunning turn of events, former President Donald Trump has been arrested and turned himself into authorities at the courthouse in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon. This marks the first time in US history that a former or current president has been indicted and arrested.
Trump is facing approximately 30 counts related to document fraud, although the exact charges are unknown as the indictment against him is currently under seal. The charges stem from an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg into hush money payments made to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. The former president has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
Accompanied by his lawyers and U.S. Secret Service agents, Trump waved to the crowd before entering the district attorney's office at around 1:30 p.m. ET. He is expected to be fingerprinted and then arraigned in court before Judge Juan Merchan at 2:15 p.m. ET. Trump is unlikely to have his mug shot taken and is expected to be released without having to post bail after his arraignment.
The accommodations of the district attorney’s office are much less comfortable than Trump's typical surroundings. He seemed to acknowledge the extraordinary circumstances even as they were unfolding, posting on Truth social media minutes before he arrived, “Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. Seems so SURREAL. WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America.”
Outside the courthouse, police had shut down streets leading to the primary entrance while helicopters buzzed overhead. Across the street, competing factions of anti- and pro-Trump protesters, featuring appearances by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos, set up camp in a park, near where throngs of reporters and curious onlookers had slept overnight on the street to gain access to Tuesday afternoon’s arraignment.
Trump's surrender marks the first time he has entered the office he has accused of political bias against him, calling District Attorney Alvin Bragg an “animal” and “racist.” However, Bragg has not responded directly to Trump's comments but has defended the indictment against GOP attacks. He plans to hold a press conference on Tuesday after Trump's arraignment.
This event will have far-reaching consequences in US politics and the legal system. The charges against Trump are serious and could potentially result in jail time if he is found guilty. It remains to be seen how this development will affect Trump's supporters and the Republican Party as a whole.