UNITED STATES: New York City police have set up metal barriers around Trump Tower and blocked off roads close to the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse as they prepare for potential demonstrations ahead of Donald Trump’s anticipated surrender to prosecutors on Tuesday.
A grand jury is looking into whether the former president paid hush money to a porn actress. On Tuesday afternoon, the former president will be arraigned in court. He is the first former American president to face criminal charges.
Trump says that the investigation is a political witch hunt, and some of his biggest supporters, like Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, say they will go to New York on Tuesday to protest. The downtown courthouse, which houses the criminal and supreme courts, will close its courtrooms ahead of Trump’s anticipated appearance, said a court official.
There were no credible threats to the city, said the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Site Intelligence Group, which tracks internet extremism, says that some people on social media have called for the death of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the jury that found Donald Trump guilty.
After Trump said that he had won the last election when he hadn’t, his supporters stormed the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021, which led to a deadly riot.
But online, many people who support Trump are wary of public protests, even though the former president called for them. They worry that they could be arrested.
In a statement, the NYPD said that “the department remains ready to respond as necessary and will ensure that everyone can peacefully exercise their rights.”
A Trump adviser said that Trump is scheduled to depart from Florida on Monday for New York, where he will stay the night at Trump Tower before making his way to the courthouse early on Tuesday.
Even though the former president being charged with a crime was sure to get a lot of attention from the media, it is still not clear if his appearance will bring a big crowd of protesters. Even though Trump was born in New York, he only got 23% of the votes in the city in 2020 and 18% in 2016.
Greene, one of Trump’s most ardent backers in Congress, says she will join a protest that the New York Young Republican Club says it is planning in a park across the street from the courthouse.
Greene wrote on Twitter that “protesting is a constitutional right” and that she would “protest this unprecedented abuse of our justice system and election interference.” She said that she refutes anyone who advocates or engages in violent acts. The grand jury heard testimony about a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign before voting to indict Trump.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, says she was paid to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she had with former president Donald Trump in 2006. Trump disputes the sexual encounter.
A court official told the media that courtrooms on the upper floors of the courthouse would shut at 1 p.m., shortly before Trump’s anticipated 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT) arraignment. The official also said that a lot of court cases will be put on hold at a building across the street from the courthouse.
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