Former President Donald Trump spoke at Mar-a-Lago in Florida after being arraigned in New York on charges stemming from hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
It’s the first time a former president has been criminally charged. Trump hasn’t let the controversy sideline his political plans; he announced his 2024 presidential campaign in November and held rallies even as his legal troubles ramped up.
Read live updates below:
Key Things To Know So Far About Trump's Arraignment...
- Trump has officially been arrested and charged in the Stormy Daniels hush money case, making him the first-ever former president to be criminally charged.
- He arrived at the Manhattan courthouse at approximately 1:23 p.m. ET and waved to a crowd of onlookers and police before heading inside the building, where he pleaded not guilty on 34 felony charges.
- Trump didn’t give any remarks at the courthouse, but about an hour beforehand he posted on social media: "Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!"
- There’s no official mug shot yet, but Trump – who’s running for the presidency again in 2024 – is selling T-shirts emblazoned with a fake one to fundraise for his campaign.
That's All For Tonight
News Networks Cut Away From Trump
Trump Attacks Georgia Investigation
“Many people on the phone … nobody found anything wrong with that perfect call,” Trump said. “This fake case was brought only to interfere with the 2024 election, and it should be dropped immediately.”
More on the latest in that investigation here.
Trump Leads With His Favorite Topic
“Our country is going to hell,” he proclaimed.
Trump Explains The ‘Only Crime' He’s Committed In Post-Arraignment Remarks
"God bless you all. I never thought anything like this could happen in America," he said, claiming the only crime he's committed is trying "to defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it."
He then launched into a few of his greatest hits, slamming Democrats and Hunter Biden, and mentioning "Russia, Russia, Russia," the raid on Mar-a-Lago and more.
Kevin McCarthy Takes Dig At Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg: "[He's] Attempting To Interfere In Our Democratic Process."
“Alvin Bragg is attempting to interfere in our democratic process by invoking federal law to bring politicized charges against President Trump, admittedly using federal funds, while at the same time arguing that the peoples’ representatives in Congress lack jurisdiction to investigate this farce,” McCarthy tweeted.
McCarthy continued: “Not so. Bragg’s weaponization of the federal justice process will be held accountable by Congress.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Donald Trump Jr. For Posting A Photo Of Judge's Daughter On Truth Social
“Because nothing says 'innocent' like threatening a judge’s family,” she said in a tweet.
In a separate tweet, she continued that “intimidation and stochastic terror are the core tools of Trump and the fascist movements that support him.”
“They rely on it to skirt consequence and silence others ― and each time it works, they grow more brazen. One reason why accountability is so important,” she wrote.
The Courtroom Sketch
Sen. Mitt Romney Criticizes 'Political' Indictment Of Trump
“I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office," Romney said in a statement. "Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda."
"No one is above the law, not even former presidents, but everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law. The prosecutor’s overreach sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public’s faith in our justice system," he added.
Romney is no friend of Trump; he's the only GOP senator who voted to convict the former president in both his Senate impeachment trials.
Bragg Speaks Out On Trump Indictment
“At its core, this case today is one with allegations like so many of our white collar cases – allegations that someone lied again and again to protect their interests and evade the laws to which are all held accountable,” Bragg said.
“We today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law. No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring American principle.”
Judge Warns Trump About Inciting Unrest
Trump Will Be Back...
Trump Lawyers Offer Lame Excuse For Trump Threatening The Manhattan DA. Also: Surprise Mannequin Leg.
Trump shared a photo last week of himself swinging a baseball bat alongside a photo of Bragg with his hands up. The post was later removed.
Tacopino claimed Tuesday Trump just really liked the bat and wanted to share a photo of it.
“He wasn’t swinging a baseball bat at anyone’s head,” Tacopino said. “He was showing off an American-made bat.”
The press conference also featured a single mannequin leg (visible in the clip below at 0:20), held by someone in the crowd apparently wielding it as a boom microphone.
Trump Attorneys: ‘He’s Frustrated, He’s Upset’ But Not Surprised
“He’s frustrated, he’s upset, but I’ll tell you what, he’s motivated, and it’s not going to stop him and it’s not going to slow him down,” said his attorney Todd Blanche, who called it “not a good day.”
“The indictment itself is boilerplate,” he told reporters outside the courthouse. “It’s sad, and we’re going to fight it.”
Asked if there was anything in the indictment that surprised them, his attorney Joe Tacopina said: “I was surprised that there were no facts in there.”
Blanche added that the judge asked everyone, not specifically Trump, to refrain from using inappropriate language in relation to the case.
“The judge didn’t warn, he asked the parties to consider what they’re saying, not saying,” he said.
When asked about Trump recently sharing a photo of himself holding a baseball bat next to the Manhattan district attorney’s head, Tacopina said it was being taken out of context.
“That was a picture of him showing off an American-made bat,” Tacopina said of the photo.
Judge Unseals Trump Indictment
District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in court documents that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.” The statement includes the $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.
Read the full statement of facts here.
No 'Lock Him Up' Chants From Hillary Clinton Today
Alas, Clinton is taking the high road and using her social media to divert people's attention to another important event happening today: Wisconsin's record-shattering Supreme Court election. It's the most expensive state judicial race in U.S. history, and Wisconsin voters will choose between two people with strongly different positions on abortion rights, among other matters.
Clinton is urging people to vote for the Democratic nominee, Milwaukee County Judge Janet Protasiewicz.
Trump Inside The Courtroom With His Defense Team
Trump Enters Courtroom
Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer Weighs In
“I believe that Mr. Trump will have a fair trial that follows the facts and the law," Schumer said in a statement. "There’s no place in our justice system for any outside influence or intimidation in the legal process. As the trial proceeds, protest is an American right but all protests must be peaceful.”
The reaction on the Republican side of the aisle has been more muted. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has not addressed the issue even though his office released a statement on Tuesday hailing the accession of Finland into NATO.
Trump Selling 'Mug Shot' Merch
Trump Arrives At Courthouse Amid Heavy Security
Donald Trump Arrives At Manhattan Criminal Court
Trump Arrives At Courthouse
Donald Trump Leaves Trump Tower
Trump Leaves Trump Tower
In Other Trump Legal News…
Trump, in a motion filed on Monday night, asked the appeals panel to reverse a lower court ruling that said the aides must comply with the Justice Department's grand jury investigation.
Whistles That Drowned Out Marjorie Taylor Greene Were Handed Out By Trump Supporter
It turns out that the whistles were distributed for free by a Trump supporter who was unaware Greene was speaking, according to an NBC reporter who spoke with the man. Video shows the man wearing an American flag-themed cowboy hat and repeating the phrase, “Make a noise, make a noise.”
The reporter, Ben Collins, then asked the Trump supporter whether he worried that his whistles were drowning out Greene’s speech. The man appeared confused at the question before answering: “This is not the place to speak right now.”
Trump 'Strong And Ready To Go': Lawyer
Marjorie Taylor Greene Briefly Appears With Bullhorn, Gets Drowned Out
The park where the pro-Trump rally took place had been divided in half by police barricades, with Trump supporters on one side and protesters on the other. But when Greene arrived, shepherded by staff and police, it became clear that anti-Trump protesters made up a significant minority of the crowd.
Greene accused Democrats of abusing children and disparaged New York City. After her remarks, she left the scene.
GOP Senator Endorses Trump 2024 Bid On Arraignment Day
"The prosecution of President Trump in New York is a political stunt by a prosecutor whose campaign was funded by George Soros," Hyde-Smith said in a statement. "That charade is all about self-promotion by the prosecutor and has nothing to do with justice. I believe the whole affair will backfire on the prosecutor and Democrats."
Hyde-Smith is the sixth GOP senator to back Trump's bid for another White House term. In her statement, the Mississippi senator cited Trump's policies as a reason to support him again. She failed to mention Trump's unprecedented effort to overturn his 2020 presidential election defeat and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol that followed.
"Because of his agenda, we secured hundreds of miles across the U.S.-Mexico border, we cut taxes, we appointed conservative judges, we had a healthy economy, wages were increasing, we were respected around the globe, and we were energy independent," she said. "I support a return to those policies and to President Trump’s effective leadership."
Meanwhile, In Other News...
In Wisconsin, voters will decide whether Democrat-backed Janet Protasiewicz or GOP-supported Dan Kelly will have a seat on the state Supreme Court. The high-stakes race could determine the fate of abortion rights, state House control and the 2024 election in Wisconsin.
And in Washington, diplomats are celebrating Finland becoming the 31st country to join the NATO alliance. The move deals a major blow to Russia, and reflects a historic transformation in Europe, in part due to Moscow’s war in Ukraine.
What’s Biden Up To?
The president’s Twitter account shared congratulations to the March Madness champions, and the White House sent out a statement welcoming Finland to NATO.
Biden was careful not to weigh in on the Trump case in Minneapolis on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. He simply answered “yes” when asked if he had faith in the U.S. legal system.
There’s a White House press briefing scheduled for later Tuesday, and press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre is likely to be asked about the Trump proceedings.
George Santos Departs, ‘Felt Threatened’
He told Semafor the scene “was too chaotic and he felt threatened.”
Trump Brings His Videographer To Surrender
Trump Supporter Tears Up Anti-Trump Banner
Trump's 'Last Email'
"Today, we mourn the loss of justice in America," the email said. Its subject line: "My last email before my arrest."
Rep. George Santos Arrives
He did a mini lap around the park, trampling some hedges in the process. Eventually, someone took him by the hand and led him onto solid ground.
Protesters Scuffle Outside Courthouse
“You’re on the wrong side,” the woman kept saying as a crowd of reporters, anti-Trump protesters and police officers swarmed around her.