Ex-President Trump in court: “Wow, they’re going to arrest me”

By Herbert Bauernebel

It was a day like no other. New York a fortress, thousands of police officers on their feet. A courthouse besieged by reporters and protesters. helicopter above. Blocked streets. A metropolis in a state of emergency.

Centered on ex-President Donald Trump, the eyes of the nation and the world are on what may be the greatest political legal drama in US history. After a few dramatic hours, Trump left his old hometown – charged with 34 crimes. And with his fingerprints in the police database.

Trump greets his fans as he makes his way to court in New York

Trump greets his fans as he makes his way to court in New York

Photo: dpa

The crazy day in retrospect

Trump woke up in his gold-studded $100 million penthouse in Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan. The first clashes break out seven kilometers away, in front of the New York County Criminal Court. Some of the ex-president’s 300 supporters and 150 critics clash in minor scuffles.

New York in a state of emergency: A police officer tries to clear a street

New York in a state of emergency: A police officer tries to clear a street

Photo: AFP

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (48), a fervent Trump ally, heats up the mood: “My voice, and everyone else’s, must be heard,” she cried. A megaphone that we had brought with us made sure of that. Immediately surrounded by counter-demonstrators, she had to flee quickly while shouting “Nazi”. Before that, she had compared her idol to “Nelson Mandela” and even “Jesus” because of his “victim role”.

The “Naked Cowboy”, the famous street artist Robert John Burck, could not be missing from the whole circus in front of the court. The courthouse is hermetically sealed. All 36,000 NYPD police officers are on alert on this memorable Trump Day.

The soon-to-be accused defiantly raised his fist in the air before getting into the car in front of Trump Tower. He wants to signal: determination! The motorcade rolls off. Agents of the “Secret Service” had even checked three different routes for security gaps in advance. News and police helicopters follow the vehicles.

Donald Trump is sitting in the courtroom

Donald Trump is sitting in the courtroom Photo: Reuters

Trump addresses his supporters from the black SUV via “social media”. “Wow, they’re going to arrest me – I can’t believe this is happening in America.” Overall, he thought it was all pretty “surreal.”

When he arrives at the courthouse, which looks like a massive fortress, Trump waves again to supporters in the midst of his bodyguards and lawyers. However, anti-Trump protesters are chanting, “No one is above the law!”

Then the fingerprints are taken. Trump, once the leader of the free world, is in the custody of law enforcement officers at this time. So: arrested. But he is spared handcuffs and a “mugshot” (sticky photo).

On the way to the courtroom, the grim photo of the day is taken: Trump looks stoically, tensely and slightly grumpily into the lens. When walking into the courtroom, prison guard Joseph Baccellieri Jr. can be seen – apparently on purpose – not keeping the door open for the 76-year-old, according to the “New York Post”.

Trump in court

In the courtroom itself, the Republican looks a little exhausted as he follows Judge Juan Merchan’s indictment presentation – flanked on the left by his beefy attorney Joe Tacopina.

► Massive, at least on paper: There are 34 charges. All for alleged crimes. The background is hush money payments of $ 130,000 to the alleged ex-affair Stormy Daniels (44).

This is how a draftsman saw a scene in court: Trump looks away from judge Juan Merchan (r.)

This is how a draftsman saw a scene in court: Trump looks away from judge Juan Merchan (r.)

Photo: Reuters

But then there are still surprises: prosecutor Alvin Bragg (49), who turns to the media even after the court date, constructed a crime out of the offense of “falsifying business documents” in a real legal tightrope act: by falsely declaring the payments in the books other possible criminal offenses would have been “covered up”.

In addition to Stormy Daniels, other transfers are also being screened, such as the $ 150,000 to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal. Or the $30,000 to a bouncer at Trump Tower who claimed Trump fathered an illegitimate child.

► All these “sex stories” should not be made public in the 2016 election campaign finals. Bragg summarizes: Trump would have increased the chances of his candidacy by allegedly burying “negative stories”. The public prosecutor speaks of a broad-based “conspiracy” that began in 2015.

Trump was only released after an hour before the judge on the 13th floor of the building. His son Eric, 39, meanwhile, fueled the martyr narrative on Twitter by posting the hashtag “Free Trump.”

Speech in Mar-a-Lago

Trump is already on his way to LaGuardia Airport. For the return flight to Florida. A “historical speech”, as he announces, is on the program there in his Mar-a-Lago department. Political capital is to be made from his arrest.

Ultimately, he continued to protest his innocence in the department. “The only crime I have committed is fearlessly defending our nation against those who seek to destroy it,” the Republican told supporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Tuesday evening (local time).

The charge against him is a “massive election interference on a scale that our country has never seen before.” He portrays the prosecution against him as an attempt by his political opponents to eliminate him for the 2024 election.

Judgment day or not: Trump remains the same.