Donald Trump’s Arraignment Aftermath


Photo of Judge Juan Merchan on the left and Donald Trump on the left. Photos by Ahmed Gaber and Todd Heisler/the New York Times

Dante Ortiz, Reporter

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) blocked off streets and surrounded the Manhattan criminal courthouse in anticipation of possible reactions to the indictment of former President Donald Trump from supporters and counter-protestors alike. 

       “The department remains ready and available to respond to protests and counter-protests,” the NYPD stated. 

       Hundreds of Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors surrounded the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on the day of the arraignment, sharing their differing views on the matter.

       The groups were separated by officers who stood in between the two crowds to prevent further conflict. 

       The preparation was in response to a social media post-Trump made via Truth Social, where he reached out to his followers, directing them to “protest” and “take our nation back” on March 18. 

Two protestors sitting outdoors
Trump supporters rallying together outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse the day of Trump’s arraignment. Photo by Tobias Burns/The Hills

       The post echoed rhetoric previously used by Trump back in 2021 on President Biden’s Inauguration day, in which he made a series of tweets that resulted in crowds storming the Capitol on Jan. 6.

       Trump supporters reprimanded District Attorney Bragg for his accusations against the former president, stating that Bragg’s actions are a political ploy set up by the Democratic party to sabotage Trump’s upcoming campaign for the 2024 presidential elections. 

       Anti-Trump protestors praised Bragg for pursuing the investigation against Trump, shouting that justice should be universal. 

Different protestors standing with signs outdoors
Protestors outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse waiting for Trump’s arraignment. Photo courtesy of RNZ

       Despite the large turnout, it was reported that the protests were quite peaceful, as a majority of individuals were stating their political positions rather than arguing.

       Former President Donald Trumps pled not guilty at an arraignment charging him with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

       Trump was arraigned at the Manhattan criminal courthouse on April 4.

       The charges stem from Trump allegedly taking from federal funds to reimburse Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, for hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels amidst the 2016 presidential elections. 

       The next court date is scheduled for Dec 4., and will be under the jurisdiction of Judge Juan Merchan.

       Merchan was the prosecutor in a case regarding the Trump Organization back in 2022 when Allen Weisselberg, the organization’s former Finance Chief, pled guilty to tax fraud. Weisselberg and Judge Merchan reached a plea deal in the case, requiring Weisselberg to testify against the Trump Organization. Trump was not charged in the case.

       The Trump Organization was accused of helping Weisselberg avoid paying taxes by not accurately reporting their compensation to the government.

       Trump reportedly raised over 4 million dollars for his campaign in less than 24 hours after the indictment. His campaign sent out fundraising solicitations to supporters via email. He also took to Truth Social to ask for donations from followers.

       Politicians from both political parties sent out emails and took to social media, using the publicity surrounding the indictment to boost campaign donations before the cutoff for the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to make quarterly inspections on contributions and reimbursements associated with campaign funds. 

       Trump has since made dozens of social media posts relating to the indictment. It is still being determined how this will affect Trump’s upcoming presidential campaign.