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Highlights: Trump expected to turn himself in Tuesday after indictment by NY grand jury

Trump on Saturday evening thanked his supporters for their “tremendous support” since his indictment.
US President-elect Donald Trump boards the elevator after escorting Martin Luther King III to the lobby after meetings at Trump Tower in New York City on January 16, 2017.
Donald Trump, president-elect at the time, boards an elevator at Trump Tower in New York City in 2017. He is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.Dominick Reuter / AFP via Getty Images file

What happens next in Trump's indictment

  • Former President Donald Trump is expected to be arraigned in New York on Tuesday. He faces about 30 charges in the state related to document fraud connected to hush money he allegedly paid to cover up affairs, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
  • The exact charges are not yet known because the indictment remains under seal until Trump appears in court for his arraignment.
  • He has denied having the affairs and committing any wrongdoing in the case.
  • Republicans have largely rushed to Trump's defense, and attacked District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is likely to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination, said Saturday that Bragg "weaponized" the law for "political purposes."

This blog has ended. Live coverage continues here.

62d ago / 1:08 AM UTC

Giuliani: 'One of worst days in American legal history'

Rudy Giuliani, Trump's former personal attorney, said that the day the former president was indicted will go down as “one of the worst days in American legal history."

"You would have to be a fool not to realize it’s being done totally for political purposes," Giuliani told NBC News at the Blue Lives Matter NYC’s Archangel Gala in Staten Island on Saturday night.

He also called Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg a disgrace and predicted that the case would play out as a disgrace to the office.

“We have never indicted an ex-president because we’re not a banana republic," Giuliani said.

62d ago / 12:34 AM UTC

Supporters gather outside of Trump’s Florida golf course ahead of arraignment next week

62d ago / 11:59 PM UTC

Trump grateful for 'tremendous support'

Trump on Saturday evening thanked his supporters for their "tremendous support" since his indictment.

On social media, the former president again stated that he believed that federal law enforcement and the Justice Department had been weaponized.

"We are now living in a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, but we will Come Back & MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" he wrote.

62d ago / 10:39 PM UTC

Rep. Maxine Waters reacts to Trump indictment

62d ago / 9:07 PM UTC

Trump appears to acknowledge supporters outside Florida golf club

Trump, departing from a day at his golf club, drove by supporters gathered outside of Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

At around 4:40 p.m., the former president's motorcade departed his golf club. Trump's vehicle slowed nearly to a stop, as the crowd of more than two dozen supporters chanted, "We love Trump."

Trump did not roll down his window or get out of the car, though he was briefly seen by cameras giving what appeared to be a thumbs up and a wave.

The car drove off within seconds.

62d ago / 8:23 PM UTC

News organizations ask judge to immediately unseal Trump indictment, allow cameras in court

A group of news organizations, including NBC News, The Associated Press and The New York Times, have asked Judge Juan Merchan to immediately unseal the Trump indictment and to allow cameras in the courtroom.

"Because of the overwhelming public interest in the contents of the indictment, and because no valid purpose is served by keeping the indictment under seal pending arraignment, we respectfully request that it be unsealed without delay. Indeed, any delay only allows speculation about the content of the indictment to proliferate," a law firm representing the media coalition wrote.

In a separate petition, the coalition urged Merchan to allow audio and visual access to the arraignment expected Tuesday: "The gravity of this proceeding — unprecedented and historic arraignment of a former U.S. President — and, consequently the need for the broadest possible public access, cannot be overstated."

Merchan is set to preside over Tuesday’s arraignment and likely to oversee any subsequent trial.

62d ago / 7:58 PM UTC

Former Manhattan assistant DA says New York's legal system means any trial would be a long way off

Trump's case likely wouldn't go to trial until next year because of the legal system in New York, Marc Agnifilo, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney, suggested in an interview on MSNBC.

"One of the features about New York state practice that you don't have federally is you have meaningful motions against the grand jury proceedings themself. You don't really have that in federal court," said Agnifilo, who served in the DA's office from 1990 to 1994.

Trump's lawyer can argue to Judge Juan Merchan, who’s expected to preside over the former president’s arraignment Tuesday, that the evidence the prosecution put in the grand jury is legally insufficient and the indictment should be dismissed, Agnifilo said.

"The motion practice in state court is a little more important, a little more involved, and as a result, it's a longer timeline of motions. I would expect this trial to be maybe a year from now," he said. "A year is probably a safe guess in terms of timeline. Federal cases very often get to trial sooner than that, sometimes six months, eight months."

62d ago / 7:19 PM UTC

62d ago / 6:44 PM UTC

DeSantis says Bragg 'weaponized' the law for 'political purposes'

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, on Saturday took aim at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg at the Pennsylvania GOP Leadership Conference.

"His whole platform when he got elected was that he was going to downgrade as many felonies as possible to misdemeanors," DeSantis told a crowd gathered in Camp Hill. "Now he turns around, purely for political purposes, and indicts a former president on misdemeanor offenses that they’re straining to convert into felonies.

"That’s when you know that the law has been weaponized for political purposes.”

Bragg, a Democrat who succeeded Cyrus Vance Jr., was elected Manhattan district attorney in 2021 following a campaign that promised to revamp the culture of the office, as well as boost trust in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

In a memo released after he took office, Bragg said he would no longer prosecute certain misdemeanor crimes because "over-incarceration has not made Manhattan safer."

DeSantis has yet to launch a bid for the 2024 GOP nomination, but he is widely seen as the likeliest alternative to Trump. Many of the former president's declared or potential rivals have jumped to his defense since he was indicted.

62d ago / 6:14 PM UTC

Stormy Daniels says Trump is 'no longer untouchable'


Adult film star Stormy Daniels, in a recent interview with a U.K. newspaper, called Trump's indictment "vindication" and said the former president is "no longer untouchable."

“A person in power is not exempt from the law. And no matter what your job is, or what your bank account says, you’re held accountable for the things you’ve said and done, and justice is served," Daniels told The Times of London. She gave the interview at an undisclosed location because of safety concerns.

“Whatever the outcome is, it’s going to cause violence, and there’s going to be injuries and death,” she said. “There’s the potential for a lot of good to come from this. But either way, a lot of bad is going to come from it, too.”

62d ago / 5:49 PM UTC

62d ago / 5:22 PM UTC

Supporters gather outside Trump International Golf Club

More than two dozen Trump supporters have gathered outside Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, waving flags and playing music from speakers.

A Trump-Pence lawn sign is fixed to a vehicle nearby, with Pence's name crossed out. And one woman is selling honey in the shape of the former president’s head. She says the money will go toward a Jan. 6 legal defense fund.

62d ago / 4:55 PM UTC

Jeb Bush on Trump's indictment: 'This is very political'

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush, on Saturday criticized the grand jury indictment, calling it "very political."

"[Manhattan District Attorney Alvin] Bragg’s predecessor didn’t take up the case," Bush wrote in a tweet. "The Justice Department didn’t take up the case. Bragg first said he would not take up the case. This is very political, not a matter of justice. In this case, let the jury be the voters."

Bush and Trump were rivals in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, during which Trump had often mocked the former governor as being "low energy." Bush said he did not vote for Trump in the 2016 and 2020 general election.

62d ago / 4:21 PM UTC

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu says Trump indictment will help him in 2024


New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said he believes that Trump's indictment will boost his chances of winning the GOP nomination in 2024.

"It only helps him," Sununu, a Republican, said in an interview on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher," which aired Friday night. "He shouldn’t be the nominee. He can’t win in ‘24, but this builds a lot of empathy, sympathy, if you will. It solidifies his base."

Sununu, who is weighing his own potential White House bid, predicted last month, before Trump's indictment, that the former president would lose the Republican nomination next year.

He has, however, committed to supporting the eventual GOP nominee. "Look, I’m a lifelong Republican," he said.

62d ago / 4:16 PM UTC

62d ago / 3:56 PM UTC

Democratic lawmaker slams Greene's call for protest

Rep. Jim McGovern has condemned Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's call for protest in New York.

Greene, a Georgia Republican and one of Trump's staunchest congressional allies, said Friday that she would travel to the state next week to protest Trump's indictment and called on supporters to join her. "Protest the tyrants," she tweeted.

"This is sick and wrong. We haven’t even seen the grand jury’s indictment — so those rushing to Trump’s defense think the law shouldn’t apply to him, no matter what he did," McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat, tweeted in response to Greene's remarks. "Their delusional deference to a career conman is pathetic."

62d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

Michael Cohen would be key witness in Trump trial, his attorney says

Michael Cohen is expected to be a “principal witness” should Trump stand trial after being indicted, according to Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis.

Cohen is the former Trump “fixer” and lawyer who pleaded guilty to and served prison time for crimes that included criminal tax evasion and campaign finance violations for his role in hush money schemes to pay two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Payments to former adult film star Stormy Daniels are at the center of Trump’s indictment, although the exact charges are not yet known. It’s also not known if payments to a second woman, Karen McDougal, are also part of the indictment.

Davis told "Meet the Press NOW" on Friday that Cohen would be a key witness in a trial against Trump following the indictment. Cohen has said that Trump directed him to pay Daniels during the 2016 campaign.

Read the full story here.

62d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

62d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

62d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

Online threats of violence but few signs of far-right organizing around Trump indictment

Minutes after news broke of former President Donald Trump’s indictment, a comment on the pro-Trump internet forum, also known as TheDonald, skyrocketed to the top of the message board.

“****ACCELERATE,” the comment, written by a user named TheSpeakerfortheDead, reads in its entirety.

Below that user, others quickly piled on, saying the grand jury that indicted Trump is “guilty of treason” and that their personal information should be made public.

The word “accelerate” is a reference to the far-right term accelerationism, the idea that the state must be abolished, usually violently, and replaced with a new one.

Read the full story here.