Friday Mar 31, 2023
A Manhattan grand jury has indicted former president Donald Trump in a Hush Money case involving adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The indictment is historical as Trump became the first US president in history to be indicted for criminal charges, starting a process of criminal proceedings like any other defendant.
As per US laws, when a person is indicted, the charges are not publicly stated until the defendant appears first in court. Similarly, the charges by the grand jury on Trump have also not been made public.
In a statement, Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Alvin Bragg said: "This evening we contacted Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan DA’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected."
It should be noted that the indictment does not mean the person has been found guilty.
The former president had said that there would be "death and destruction" if he is indicted.
The first appearances — typically arraignment in which a person is presented with the charges brought against them — are usually public proceedings but, in some cases, defendants under the legal arrangement can be made for self-surrender or voluntarily giving custody to law enforcement.
During the first appearance before the court, the fingerprints are also taken of the defendant.
Trump’s lawyers were informed as the indictment was made public.
According to CNN, the former president is likely to appear before the court on Tuesday for his likely arraignment — which could also happen two or three days later — and would be permitted to voluntarily turn himself in.
It is not sure what can exactly happen in a first appearance. If the appearance is also an arraignment, then the defendant is likely to file a plea and the conditions of release are discussed with certain restrictions. In this process, the defendants are also told their rights. The parties at this stage also enter their appearance of the court proceedings.
When charges are brought against any defendant, they need to pass through a certain legal process. Trump will also go through the same. However, as he has been the former president and the candidate for the 2024 US presidency, there would be additional security measures and several other concerns on the ground as the case moves forward.
His travel will be coordinated with the secret service and the coordination regarding the matter between the Secret Service, the US Marshals Service and the New York Police Department has begun.
The New York Police officers were told to be in their uniforms and get ready for the deployment on Friday.