WASHINGTON — Former US president Donald Trump is expected to surrender to the authorities in New York on Tuesday to face charges over a hush-money payment to a porn star.
Here’s what happens next:
Trump, who was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday, becoming the first US president ever to face criminal charges, will surrender at a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday, his lawyers said.
According to US media, it is expected to happen at 2.15pm (1815 GMT).
Trump will be fingerprinted and have a mugshot taken but Joe Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers, said the former president would not be placed in handcuffs.
Heavy security has been put in place around the Manhattan courthouse where Trump is to be booked on charges that have not been made public yet.
“I’m sure they’ll try to make sure they get some joy out of this by parading him,” Tacopina said of the New York prosecutors who filed the case against Trump.
A grand jury indicted Trump after hearing testimony from a number of witnesses about a US$130,000 (RM573,625) payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an affair she had with Trump in 2006.
Next legal steps
Following his booking, the 76-year-old Trump will be arraigned before a judge at which time he will be presented with the charges and enter a plea.
The judge then decides whether a defendant should be released on bail or taken into custody.
Tacopina said Trump will plead not guilty.
Once Trump is arraigned and enters a plea, there will be a series of preliminary court hearings to set a date for a trial and decide on witnesses and evidence.
Tacopina said he would seek to have the charges dismissed without going to trial but that there is “zero” chance the former president enters into a plea agreement with prosecutors.
“President Trump will not take a plea deal in this case,” he told NBC’s Today show. “It’s not going to happen. There’s no crime.”
While the criminal charges remain sealed, it is difficult to predict whether a potential conviction could see the unprecedented situation of a US president being sentenced to prison.
The charges against Trump are believed to involve business fraud and campaign-finance violations, but whether they rise to the level of felonies — which carry potential jail time — is unknown for now.
Trump has no criminal record and whether he would be sentenced to prison in the event of a conviction remains to be seen.
2024 White House race
Trump can — and undoubtedly will — pursue his 2024 White House campaign despite facing criminal charges.
Nothing in the Constitution prevents someone from running for the nation’s highest office while facing charges, and even a conviction would not bar them from serving as president.
The 14th Amendment does prohibit anyone who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” from holding elected office.
The House of Representatives impeached Trump for “incitement of insurrection” for the January 6, 2021 attack on Congress by his supporters, but he was acquitted by the Senate.
A special counsel is currently looking into Trump’s role in the January 6 assault on the US Capitol and the former president could still potentially face charges on that front.
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