Trump arrives at New York courthouse to face criminal charges

Former US president Donald Trump arrived at a Manhattan courthouse to be formally charged on Tuesday.

Wearing a dark blue suit and red tie, Trump, 76, exhibited little emotion on his face as he waved to a crowd of supporters who had gathered outside the courthouse.

The first sitting or former U.S. president to face criminal charges, Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury last week in a case stemming from a 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, though the specific charges had yet to be disclosed.

From his motorcade, Trump posted on social media: “Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. Seems so SURREAL – WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America.”

Trump was due to surrender to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg before an arraignment proceeding before Justice Juan Merchan. The arraignment, where Trump will hear charges and is expected to enter a not-guilty plea, was planned for 2:15 p.m New York time.

Hundreds of Trump supporters, at a park across from the Manhattan courthouse, cheered and blew whistles, outnumbering his detractors. The Trump critics held signs including one of Trump dressed in a striped jail uniform behind bars and another that read, “Lock Him Up.”

Typically, people facing arraignment are fingerprinted and have mugshot photographs taken. The court appearance was likely to be brief, Reuters reported.

“It won’t be a long day in court,” Joseph Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers, said on ABC.

Yahoo News late on Monday reported that Trump would face 34 felony counts for falsification of business records.

Any trial is at least more than a year away, legal experts said. Being indicted or even convicted does not legally prevent Trump from running for president.