Metal barriers have been erected around Trump Tower, and roads near the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse have been blocked by the New York City police as they prepare for potential protests in anticipation of Donald Trump's expected surrender to prosecutors on Tuesday.
Trump is scheduled to be arriagned in hush money case
The former president is scheduled to be arraigned at the courthouse Tuesday afternoon after being indicted in a grand jury probe over hush money paid to a porn star, becoming the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges. Trump, who describes the probe as a political witch hunt, and top supporters, including Republican lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene, say they will go to New York on Tuesday to protest. The downtown courthouse, home to criminal and supreme courts, will shut down some courtrooms ahead of Trump's expected appearance, a court official said.
Police denies any threat
The New York Police Department (NYPD) confirmed that there were no credible threats to the city. However, some social media users have called for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the jury that indicted Trump to be executed, according to the Site Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism.
Following Trump's false claim that he won the last election, his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, resulting in a deadly riot. Despite Trump's calls for public demonstrations, many of his supporters online have expressed caution, fearing they could be arrested.
The NYPD said in a statement, "(The) department remains ready to respond as needed and will ensure everyone is able to peacefully exercise their rights."
Trump to fly to New York on Monday
Trump is expected to fly to New York on Monday from Florida, spend the night at Trump Tower, before arriving early Tuesday morning at the courthouse, a Trump adviser said. While the former president facing criminal charges will undoubtedly draw massive media attention, it is not yet clear if his appearance will draw a large number of protesters. While Trump is a native New Yorker, he did not receive many votes in his hometown - 23% of the city voted for him in 2020, and 18% in 2016.
The New York Young Republican Club says it is planning a protest at a park across the street from the courthouse, a demonstration that Greene, one of Trump's staunchest supporters in Congress, says she will attend. "Protesting is a constitutional right," Greene said on Twitter, adding that she would "protest this unprecedented abuse of our justice system and election interference." She said she rejects anyone who incites or commits violence.
Before voting to indict Trump, the grand jury heard evidence about a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she was paid to keep silent about a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006, which Trump denies. A court official told Reuters that courtrooms on higher floors of the courthouse will be closed at 1 p.m., shortly before Trump's expected 2:15 p.m. (1815 GMT) arraignment, and many court cases will be adjourned at a building across the street from the courthouse.
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