(The Center Square) — Former President Donald Trump was placed in police custody ahead of arraignment Tuesday, after a grand jury voted to indict him last week, marking the first time a current or former president has been arraigned on criminal charges.
Videos showed Trump wearing a red tie escorted by Secret Service to the courthouse to turn himself in to authorities, where he was processed before his arraignment.
President Trump waves to supporters before entering the courthouse in Manhattanpic.twitter.com/TakmFw2rwv
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) April 4, 2023
“Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse,” he posted to Truth Social on his way to the courtroom. “Seems so SURREAL – WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!”
As The Center Square previously reported, prosecutors presented evidence that Trump allegedly paid hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels through a lawyer seven years ago and illegally covered it up as a legal expense before being elected president.
Trump also posted a series of urgent messages blasting Democrats and New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“THE RADICAL LEFT DEMOCRATS HAVE CRIMINALIZED THE JUSTICE SYSTEM,” Trump posted on Truth Social. “THIS IS NOT WHAT AMERICA WAS SUPPOSED TO BE!”
Trump’s family and many Republicans have centered their criticism on Bragg, a George Soros-backed prosecutor who has been lax on many violent criminals during his tenure. Soros is a billionaire donor to Democrats across the country.
“The entire system is rigged!” Eric Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning.
Trump on Monday flew from Florida to New York for the arraignment. He is expected to deliver closely watched remarks from Mar-a-Lago Tuesday evening.
Trump blasted leaks from government officials as well.
“Speaking of LEAKS, Special ‘Prosecutor’ Jack Smith (What did his name used to be?) leaked massive amounts of information to The Washington ComPost,” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “This is illegal, and I assume this Radical Left Lunatic, much to the chagrin of his Trump Hating wife and family, will be PROSECUTED? He is a totally biased Thug who should be let loose on the Biden Documents hidden in Chinatown, and the 1,850 BOXES secretly stored in Delaware, which Biden REFUSES to give up. Biden is guilty of Obstruction, I am not!”
While the indictment naturally presents challenges for Trump, analysts speculate that the legal battle could propel Trump as a martyr of the “rigged” system he regularly makes a focus of his message.
A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll reports that Trump’s numbers among Republicans have spiked since the indictment. The latest poll puts Trump well ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, assumed to be the biggest threat to Trump’s chances to win the GOP nomination for president in 2024, by 26 percentage points.