Trump Arraignment Live Updates: Former President Explains His ‘Only Crime'

Protesters packed the streets outside of the courtroom. Trump made remarks. We've got all the updates here.

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.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg led the investigation that resulted in charges, making him a target for Trump and his allies.

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

We’re closing out the liveblog of our coverage of Trump’s arraignment for the night. HuffPost will continue its coverage of Trump’s historic criminal charges tomorrow. Check out for more reporting and analysis.

News Networks Cut Away From Trump

Just before the end of Trump’s speech, major news networks and media outlets — including CNN, NBC News and the Washington Post's livestream — cut off their feeds as Trump rattled off a familiar list of his years-long grudges, unfounded theories and grievances.

Trump Attacks Georgia Investigation

Trump has moved on to rage against another investigation into his behavior: his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. The former president said prosecutors were trying to “indict me over a ‘perfect call,’” referencing his effort to pressure Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” votes after the election.

“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

Even though today’s charges were about the 2016 election, Trump kicked off his speech by rehashing his unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him, pointing to “unconstitutional changes to election laws” and “millions of votes illegally stuffed into ballot boxes and all caught on government cameras.”

“Our country is going to hell,” he proclaimed.
Key Moment

Trump Explains The ‘Only Crime' He’s Committed In Post-Arraignment Remarks

After greeting supporters as he made his way into the event at Mar-a-Lago, Trump began his 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.

A Look At The Protest Signs

Some of the more popular signs read “lock him up,” in reference to Trump’s long-time chant against his 2016 presidential opponent Hillary Clinton.

Fox Hypocrisy

Greg Gutfeld of Fox News called out journalists from other cable news channels for doing... exactly what Fox News did.

Kevin McCarthy Takes Dig At Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg: "[He's] Attempting To Interfere In Our Democratic Process."

In the aftermath of Trump’s courtroom appearance, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) took a dig at Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, asserting that he’s attempting to “interfere in our democratic process” through Trump’s indictment.

“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.”

GOP Interference Crossing The Line?

House Republicans have been complaining about Bragg and casting doubt on the Manhattan DA's reputation since news broke that Trump was going to be indicted.

But are they taking it too far with the threat of subpoenas?

HuffPost's Jennifer Bendery asked legal experts whether their efforts amount to obstruction. Read her reporting here.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Calls Out Donald Trump Jr. For Posting A Photo Of Judge's Daughter On Truth Social

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) denounced Donald Trump Jr.'s move to post a photo to Truth Social of New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan’s daughter. Merchan is the judge overseeing Trump’s case.

“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

Behold: Trump's courtroom sketch, by artist Jane Rosenberg, has finally emerged.
Tom Williams via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney Criticizes 'Political' Indictment Of Trump

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), a sharp Trump critic, voiced criticism of Bragg's indictment of the former president on Tuesday, calling it an "overreach" that is political in nature.

“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.

Photos Show A Disgruntled Trump Surrendering To Authorities And His Arraignment

Given that Trump is a former president under Secret Service protection, a perp walk wasn’t initially expected in this case, according to Insider. Still, some photos of the former president arriving at the courthouse did showcase the moments before he was in custody, followed by his courtroom appearance during which he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts.

Bragg Speaks Out On Trump Indictment

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg spoke at a press conference after Trump left the courthouse following his arraignment. Bragg summarized the charges that accuse the former president of falsifying business records, including the hush money payment scheme to Stormy Daniels.

“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

The AP reports the judge warned Trump to refrain from social media posts that could prompt unrest, referencing previous posts Trump shared that were critical of Bragg.

Trump Will Be Back...

As of today, Trump's next in-person court date is set for Dec. 4.

Trump Lawyers Offer Lame Excuse For Trump Threatening The Manhattan DA. Also: Surprise Mannequin Leg.

Trump attorneys Joe Tacopino and Todd Blanche held an impromptu media conference after Trump’s arraignment hearing, wherein Tacopino claimed Trump’s threats on social media against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg weren’t threats at all.

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

Trump’s attorneys said the former president is upset about the criminal charges against him but not surprised by anything revealed in the indictment.
“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

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has unsealed Trump’s indictment, revealing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

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.
Chelsea Guglielmino/FilmMagic/Getty Images

No 'Lock Him Up' Chants From Hillary Clinton Today

Hillary Clinton could be throwing some serious shade at Trump today as he gets arraigned in a New York City courtroom. How could she not want to, given that her former presidential rival has gone from, "Lock her up!" chants to being arrested?

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.
Seth Wenig/AP

Trump Inside The Courtroom With His Defense Team

Trump sits at the defense table with his legal team in a Manhattan court on Tuesday.
Key Moment

Trump Pleads Not Guilty

Trump formally pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Trump Enters Courtroom

Trump was seen looking stony-faced while entering the Manhattan courthouse for his arraignment hearing where he is expected to plead not guilty. He appeared to ignore at least one call for him to speak with reporters as he passed by cameras.

Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer Weighs In

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) stressed the need for peaceful protests in response to Trump's arrest and arraignment in New York on Tuesday.

“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 Save America JFC

Trump Selling 'Mug Shot' Merch

The Trump campaign sent an email to supporters around the same time his arraignment was scheduled to begin, offering a "free" T-shirt with a $47 donation that featured a fake mug shot image of Trump, today's date and the words "NOT GUILTY." The shirt also features the numbers 45 and 47, representing his first presidential term and a second one, should he win in 2024.

Bragg Spotted

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was spotted walking through the courthouse minutes before Trump's arraignment was scheduled to begin, according to CNN.

Trump Arrives At Courthouse Amid Heavy Security

BuzzFeed News reporter David Mack captured the arrival of Trump’s motorcade at the courthouse Tuesday. Trump briefly acknowledged the crowd before he was escorted inside.
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Donald Trump Arrives At Manhattan Criminal Court

Trump waves as he arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on Tuesday.

Trump Calls Arrest ‘Surreal’ In Social Media Post

Trump said his arrest felt “so surreal” while heading to the courthouse ahead of his arraignment.
“Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America,” he posted on Truth Social.
Key Moment

Trump Arrives At Courthouse

Trump arrived at the courthouse at approximately 1:23 p.m. ET. He stepped out of his car and waved to supporters before entering the building. Upon entering the courthouse, Trump is considered under arrest.
Bryan Woolston/AP

Donald Trump Leaves Trump Tower

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower in New York.

What's Next

Trump's arraignment is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. ET. His attorney has said he will speak outside of the courthouse, so we may hear from him soon.
Key Moment

Trump Leaves Trump Tower

Trump has departed Trump Tower, where he stayed Monday night after traveling to New York from Mar-a-Lago. He's on his way to the courthouse now.

What The Polls Say

It’s difficult to significantly sway opinions on Trump. He has been a celebrity for 40 years and arguably the dominant figure in American life for the past eight. Most Americans have a relatively firm stance on the former casino owner, pop culture mainstay and right-wing politician.

In Other Trump Legal News…

The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., has blocked Trump’s latest attempt to prevent several top advisers from testifying before a grand jury investigating the former president’s role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to several reports.

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

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene attempted to address the pro-Trump rally attendees for several minutes, but was drowned out by heckling protesters and people blowing whistles.

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

Joe Tacopina, a lawyer representing Trump expected to be in the courtroom for his arraignment, told The Associated Press the former president "is strong and ready to go.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene Briefly Appears With Bullhorn, Gets Drowned Out

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and far-right activist Jack Posobiec addressed the crowd outside Manhattan Criminal Court using a bullhorn, though they were mostly intelligible due to a chorus of whistles, boos, and heckling from the crowd.

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

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) endorsed former President Donald Trump's 2024 presidential campaign just hours before he was set to be arraigned over hush money payments to an adult film star.

"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...

While the nation’s eyes are on Trump’s arraignment in New York, other areas of the country also are involved in major political news. One of those areas is Chicago, where a mayoral runoff election between progressive Brandon Johnson and conservative centrist Paul Vallas will determine how the city deals with public safety and education.

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?

President Joe Biden will meet with his council of advisers on science and technology Tuesday to discuss the “risks and opportunities” that advancements in artificial intelligence technologies pose, according to the White House schedule and The Associated Press.

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.

Trump Calls Manhattan An ‘Unfair Venue,’ Blasts 'Highly Partisan' Judge

Trump said his case should be moved from Manhattan to Staten Island, griping in a Truth Social post that the Manhattan venue is “very unfair” and that only 1% of some areas in the borough voted Republican.

Moving the case to Staten Island, he wrote, “would be a very fair and secure location for the trial.” The New York City borough voted for Trump in the 2020 election.

Trump went on to accuse the judge overseeing his charges of being “highly partisan” and said his family members “are well known Trump haters.”

Trump’s own defense attorney, Joe Tacopina, said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday that he does not agree with Trump that the judge in the case is biased.

“He’s entitled to his own opinion. And what he's been through, quite frankly, I don't blame him for feeling the way he feels,” Tacopina said of Trump.

George Santos Departs, ‘Felt Threatened’

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) left the crowd gathered outside the New York courthouse after he was mobbed by reporters ahead of Donald Trump’s arrival.

He told Semafor the scene “was too chaotic and he felt threatened.”

Trump Brings His Videographer To Surrender

Donald Trump traveled to New York with his videographer, who is tasked with capturing behind-the-scenes footage of the former president’s indictment, according to CNN.
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Trump Supporter Tears Up Anti-Trump Banner

A supporter of former President Donald Trump tears up an anti-Trump banner during a protest outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse.

Trump's 'Last Email'

Trump's campaign sent a fundraising email Tuesday morning with a note from the former president calling America "a Marxist Third World country that CRIMINALIZES dissent and IMPRISONS its political opposition."

"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

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) was mobbed by reporters as he arrived outside the New York courthouse where former President Donald Trump is set to be arraigned later Tuesday.

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.

All Eyes On Alvin Bragg's Indictment

Trump is expected to face multiple charges of falsifying business records involving hush money payments to an adult film star, but the case could involve complications if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg decides to also charge the former president with federal campaign finance crimes, as HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal explained.

Some legal experts believe that Trump's mishandling of classified documents poses a far more serious legal threat to the former president than the New York indictment.

"I think the document case is the most serious case," Bill Barr, Trump's former attorney general, told Fox News on Sunday. "I don't think they went after those documents to get Trump. I think they actually wanted the documents back."

Protesters Scuffle Outside Courthouse

A woman wearing a red MAGA hat reportedly tried to tear down a large banner reading “Trump lies all the time,” prompting a brief scuffle.
“You’re on the wrong side,” the woman kept saying as a crowd of reporters, anti-Trump protesters and police officers swarmed around her.

What's Up With Merrick Garland?

Michael A. Cohen, an MSNBC columnist, wrote an op-ed for MSNBC talking about Trump's other legal troubles.

CORRECTION: This post initially attributed the column to Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen; it was written by a columnist with the same name.

Crowds Gather Outside Courthouse

Long lines have been forming outside the Manhattan courthouse since Monday, with an estimated 100 reporters gathered Tuesday morning ahead of Trump's arraignment.

The DA Arrives

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has arrived at the courthouse ahead of Trump’s arraignment this afternoon. Trump on Monday night called for Bragg to “indict himself” and accused the district attorney of leaking information about his indictment.

Trump Plans To Speak: Report

According to CNN, Trump's attorney said the former president plans to speak to cameras outside of the courtroom both before and after his arraignment this afternoon.

This Won't Be Shown On TV

The arraignment will not be televised on Tuesday, despite a request from news outlets to broadcast live footage of the historic moment.

Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan rejected the request by multiple media outlets — including The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post — on Monday night, the evening before Trump is scheduled to appear in a Manhattan courthouse. Pool photographers will be allowed to take still photographs before the arraignment begins.

'I Think Right Now He's Beyond Petrified'

Michael Cohen suspects his former boss is “petrified” on the eve of his arraignment.

“Diaper Donald will be filling up that diaper, because this is not something that Donald is capable of either understanding or contending with,” Cohen, who worked closely with Trump as his personal attorney for more than a decade, told Ari Melber on Monday on MSNBC’s “The Beat.”

Trump's Travels

The AP reported that Trump made his way from Mar-a-Lago to New York ahead of his arraignment.

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