Donald Trump to appear in court and be charged in historic moment Tuesday

Jeremy Herb, CNN

Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, Monday, April 3, 2023, in New York.
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, Monday, April 3, 2023, in New York. (Yuki Iwamura/AP)

CNN — Donald Trump will officially become the first former president to face criminal charges Tuesday when he’s arraigned in a New York courtroom – an appearance that is expected to be quick and routine but represents a surreal and historic moment in US history.

Trump is set to arrive at the courthouse in downtown Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, where his arrest will be processed by the district attorney’s office and he will be brought to the courtroom to hear the charges against him.

News outlets will not be able to broadcast the arraignment live, a judge said Monday night, rejecting a request from several media organizations, including CNN. Five still photographers, however, will be allowed to take pictures of Trump and the courtroom before the hearing begins.

The indictment returned last week by a grand jury against Trump is also expected to be unsealed Tuesday, providing the public – and Trump’s legal team – with the first details about the specific charges he will face. The investigation stemmed from a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

It remains to be seen whether Trump will speak in New York. Chris Kise, one of Trump’s lawyers, said he expects the former president to speak to the cameras in the hallway outside of the courtroom before and after his arraignment, and multiple people familiar with Trump’s thinking tell CNN that he has weighed saying something while still in Manhattan. Advisers have warned him, however, that any unplanned remarks put him at high risk of hurting his case.

Trump is slated to fly back to Florida following his court appearance, and he will hold an event at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday evening that gives the 2024 Republican presidential hopeful a chance to respond to the charges.

While Trump’s comments will signal how he intends to fight the charges against him in the political arena, the former president is also preparing for the fight in court: He added a new attorney, Todd Blanche, to serve as lead counsel on his defense team on Monday.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment marks the first criminal charges against Trump, but it’s not the only potential legal trouble in front of the former president: Special counsel Jack Smith is still moving forward with an investigation into Trump’s role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol and the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. And a Fulton County special grand jury has completed its investigation into efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

Trump arrived in New York on Monday afternoon, flying up on his jet from Palm Beach. He stayed overnight in Trump Tower, and will head 4 miles south to the courthouse in downtown Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon.

Law enforcement in New York and the US Secret Service have been planning for the prospect of Trump’s appearance at the courthouse for weeks.

Trump will be accompanied throughout the day by the Secret Service. His arrest will be processed in the district attorney’s office, where he will be fingerprinted. It’s still unclear if a mugshot will be taken, sources told CNN, as there are concerns that it could leak out.

Trump will be taken through back hallways and elevators to the courthouse, which is in the same building as the district attorney’s office. He will walk through a public hallway to the courtroom where he will be arraigned.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.