Former President Donald Trump will appear in a New York court on Tuesday to hear the charges against him, court officials said Friday. the appearance would start an unprecedented situation, that of a former head of state arrested and accused of crimes.
An investigative jury investigated the money payments during the 2016 election campaign to report extramarital sexual encounters.The indictment itself is under seal, as is customary in New York prior to formal arraignment.
Trump has denied having committed any crime and has called the investigation a “scam”, “persecution”, injustice and a political cheap shot to harm his attempt to run as a presidential candidate in the 2024 elections. The former president is a Republican; the prosecutor who presided over the investigation, Alvin Bragg, is a Democrat.
no former president had been accused of a crime before, so there is no regulation to sign him. Trump is protected by the Secret Service, those agents who are with him at all times.
He was asked to appear Friday, but his lawyers said the Secret Service needed more time for security preparations, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.
Even for defendants who come forward voluntarily, criminal cases in New York involve several hours of detention while fingerprinting and photos are taken, as well as other paperwork.
Bragg’s office said Thursday that it had contacted Trump’s attorney to coordinate the proceeding. Before the court date was announced, attorney Joseph Tacopina said Tuesday was the likely date for the filing.
The investigation was into required payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both said they had sexual encounters with Trump years before he entered politics.The former president denies it in both cases.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, his allies paid the women to silence their denunciations. The editor of the National Enquirer tabloid paid McDougal $150,000 for the rights to her story and then buried her, in a deal brokered by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
After Cohen himself paid $130,000 to Daniels, Trump’s company reimbursed him with bonuses and listed those payments as legal expenses.
In a criminal case against Cohen in 2018, federal prosecutors argued that the payments amounted to illegal aid to the Trump campaign. Cohen pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws, but prosecutors did not charge Trump, who was still president. However, some of his documents indirectly implicated him as someone who was aware of the payments.
Trump faces other investigations with potentially serious legal consequences for him.
In Atlanta, prosecutors are trying to determine whether Trump committed wrongdoing when he tried to get Georgia officials to overturn his narrow 2020 election loss to Joe Biden.
At the federal level, a special prosecutor appointed by the Justice Department is investigating Trump’s attempts to rig the results of the national election. In addition, he asks why Trump kept a stack of secret government documents at his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, and whether he or his representatives tried to obstruct that investigation.