On Tuesday, U.S. former President Donald Trump arrived at a Manhattan courthouse to face arraignment on charges stemming from hush-money payments made during the 2016 campaign to bury allegations that he had extramarital sexual encounters.
Wearing a dark blue suit and red tie, Trump exhibited little emotion as he waved to a crowd assembled outside the courthouse, where he was driven in a motorcade from his New York residence at Trump Tower.
At 14:00, he appeared before acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who unsealed the indictment against him. He was not handcuffed after his arrest since he remained under law enforcement protection.
The arraignment was not broadcasted live, as the judge rejected requests from several media outlets. However, five photographers were allowed to take pictures of Trump and the courtroom before the hearing began.
Trump denied the claim by Stephanie Daniels, whose real last name is Clifford, that she had sex with him in 2006. He also denied wrongdoing related to the US$130,000 payment that his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen gave her to keep quiet about the affair.
Trump posted a video from his motorcade while he went to the courthouse. He called the case a “witch hunt” and a “hoax”. In social media, the former President also attacked Merchan, who presided over a trial in which Trump’s real estate company was convicted of tax fraud last year.
The hush-money payments case will have significant political implications for Trump, who has hinted at running for President again in 2024. The Police had to separate Trump supporters from his detractors with barricades to keep some order. However, there were some confrontations.