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Donald Trump to surrender to history-making criminal charges

NEW YORK, Apr 4 (Net) — An extraordinary moment in U.S. history is scheduled to unfold in a Manhattan courthouse Tuesday: Former President Donald Trump, who faces multiple election-related investigations, will surrender to face criminal charges stemming from 2016 hush money payments.
The booking and arraignment are likely to be relatively brief — though hardly routine — as Trump is fingerprinted, learns the exact charges against him and pleads, as expected, not guilty.
Trump, who was impeached twice by the U.S. House but was never convicted in the U.S. Senate, will become the first former president to face criminal charges. The nation’s 45th commander in chief will be escorted from Trump Tower to the courthouse by the Secret Service and may have his mug shot taken.
New York police are braced for protests by Trump supporters, who share the former president’s belief that the New York grand jury indictment — and three additional pending investigations — are political-ly motivated and intended to weaken his bid to retake the White House in 2024.
Trump, a former reality-TV star, has been hyping that narrative to his political advantage, raising mil-lions of dollars since the indictment on claims of a “witch hunt.” He has personally assailed the Manhat-tan district attorney, egged on supporters to protest, and claimed without evidence that the judge presid-ing over the case “hates me” — something Trump’s own lawyer has said is not true.
Trump is scheduled to return to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, Tuesday evening to hold a rally, punctu-ating his new reality: submitting to the dour demands of the American criminal justice system while pro-jecting an aura of defiance and victimhood at celebratory campaign events.
A conviction would not prevent Trump from running for or winning the presidency in 2024.
Inside the Manhattan courtroom, prosecutors led by New York’s district attorney, Alvin Bragg, are ex-pected to unseal the indictment issued last week by a grand jury. This is when Trump and his defense lawyers will get their first glimpse of the precise allegations against him.
The indictment includes multiple charges of falsifying business records, including at least one felony offense, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press last week.
After the arraignment, Trump is expected to be released by authorities because the charges against him don’t require that bail be set.
The investigation is scrutinizing six-figure payments made to porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Both say they had sexual encounters with the married Trump years before he got into politics. Trump denies having sexual liaisons with either woman and has denied any wrongdoing involving payments.
The arraignment will unfold against the backdrop of heavy security in New York, coming more than two years after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol in a failed bid to halt the congressional certifica-tion of President Joe Biden’s win.
Though police said they had no intelligence suggesting any violence was likely, they were on high alert for any potential disruptions.
Top Republicans, including some of Trump’s potential rivals in next year’s GOP presidential primary, have decried the case against him. President Joe Biden, who has yet to formally announce that he’s seek-ing reelection next year, and other leading Democrats have largely had little to say about it.
Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, was campaigning on Monday near the U.S.-Mexico border as part of her presidential bid and suggested that coverage of the former president’s indictment was distracting from other key issues, like immigration. But even she added, “You’ve got a liberal pros-ecutor that’s doing political revenge against a former president.”
Prosecutors say their case against Trump has nothing to do with politics.

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