It’s the first time that a current or former US president has been criminally charged.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office has been investigating Trump’s alleged role in a hush money payment scheme and cover-up involving adult film star Stormy Daniels that dates to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump is expected to appear in court Tuesday for his arraignment, sources told Cnn, and his attorney said he plans to file “substantial” legal challenges. The former president has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in the matter and accused Democrats of targeting him politically.
Trump was bracing for an indictment as early as March 18, when he said in a social media post that he expected to be arrested within days. In his post, he appealed to his supporters for action, writing, “Protest, take our nation back.”
Former President Donald Trump will not accept a plea deal in the indictment brought by a Manhattan grand jury but does plan to file “substantial legal challenges” to the indictment, his attorney Joe Tacopina said.
“President Trump will not take a plea deal in this case. It’s not gonna happen,” Tacopina said in an interview with NBC News on Friday.
“I don’t know if it’s gonna make it to trial because we have substantial legal challenges that we have to … front before we get to that point.”Tacopina said when asked if he expects to take the case to trial.
Trump will “absolutely” voluntarily surrender to Manhattan law enforcement, the defense attorney said, adding the former president is “not going to hole up in Mar-a-Lago.”
Logistics are currently being worked, he said.
Meanwhile, Trump attorney Jim Trusty said Friday he expects that the former president’s legal team will file motions to dismiss his indictment before a trial could potentially get underway.
“I would think in very short order, you’ll see a motion to dismiss — or several motions to dismiss — talking about this kind of impossible theory of stacking a federal crime into a state misdemeanor, statute of limitations issues and very importantly, the intent to defraud. That’s an element of these false record keeping charges. That’s just not present here,”Trusty told CNN This Morning.
The lawyer said he did not know “about the exact timing” as there isn’t a case number yet but he noted that it will “be soon.”
“I think this will be something you can expect in days or weeks, not weeks or months,”he added.
Tacopina told Good Morning America that the former president “will not be put in handcuffs.”
Responding to Cnn reporting that Trump has been charged on more than 30 counts related to business fraud, Tacopina said he does not know the nature of the charges against Trump or how many there are, but added, “If it’s correct, it means they’ve taken each transaction, each check, each payment, each entry and made a separate charge.”
Tacopina said he does not know when the charges will be unsealed but suggested it “might likely be Tuesday.”