Apr 4, 2023
Trump Arrives in NYC Alongside Family Ahead of Arraignment Transcript
The former president waved as he arrived at Trump Tower alongside his son Eric and wife Melania. Read the transcript here.
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And we begin tonight with former President Trump back here in New York, where he will surrender to authorities tomorrow and face criminal charges. Sources telling ABC News there could be about two dozen separate counts after an investigation stemming from that hush money payment to Stormy Daniels in the crucial final weeks of the 2016 election. It is still unclear tonight what these charges will include. The former president’s return from Florida covered live today on cable news, his private plane there, touching down at LaGuardia Airport.
A motorcade waiting on the tarmac. Traffic cleared through Manhattan for the ride to Trump Tower. The former president quickly heading inside a quick wave on his way in the city bracing for possible protests. New York City Mayor Eric Adams tonight warning any potential protestors saying the NYPD is always ready. Although right now at Trump Tower and outside court, it seems so far the number of reporters outnumbering those who have gathered. The former president will be escorted to court tomorrow in a motorcade of police and Secret Service. He will stand before the judge to hear what charges he faces. And tonight what we’ve learned about what the public will now see. ABC Senior investigative reporter, Aaron Katersky, leading us off tonight outside criminal court in Lower Manhattan
Aaron Katersky (01:09):
Tonight, former President Donald Trump waving as he arrived in New York, where less than 24 hours from now, he is due to surrender to face criminal charges. His journey from Mar-a-Lago receiving live coverage on cable TV, supporters lining the route to cheer. After landing in New York, streets were blocked off to make way for his motorcade. Tomorrow the former president will become just another criminal defendant on the downtown docket, and yet he is no ordinary defendant. The Secret Service will deliver him to court to be arrested. Officers could take his mugshot and though he won’t be handcuffed, Trump will have to stand before a judge for arraignment on some two dozen charges. His lawyer said he’ll plead not guilty.
The charges stem from a hush payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, weeks before the pivotal 2016 presidential election, an allegedly disguised as ordinary legal expenses. Today, Trump again lashed out at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and attacked presiding Judge Juan Merchan as a Trump hating judge who would never give him a fair trial. Assertions Trump’s own lawyer would not repeat.
Joe Tacopina (02:17):
No, I don’t believe the judge is bias. The president is entitled to his own opinion.
Aaron Katersky (02:20):
Trump has called for supporters to protest his arrest and here in New York, the city is on alert. Mayor Eric Adams with this warning.
Mayor Eric Adams (02:27):
While there may be some rabble rouses thinking about coming to our city tomorrow, a message is clear and simple. Control yourselves. New York City is our home, not a playground for your misplaced anger.
Aaron Katersky (02:45):
While Trump was preparing for his arrest, president Biden was touring a Minnesota manufacturing facility and talking about jobs, a split screen the White House welcomes. The president today making his first comments on Trump’s indictment.
Speaker 5 (02:57):
Joe Biden (03:01):
No, I have faith in the New York Police Department
Speaker 7 (03:04):
Do you have faith in the legal system [inaudible 00:03:06]?
Joe Biden (03:06):
So let’s begin. Aaron Katersky, he’s live outside the courthouse in Lower Manhattan again tonight for us. And Aaron, among the questions that remain this evening, will there be cameras in court tomorrow? The judge ruling on that tonight?
Aaron Katersky (03:20):
He’s expected to, David. He signaled that he would. News organizations including ABC News asked to bring cameras into the courtroom, but the Trump legal team actually opposed it saying it would create a circus-like atmosphere. Once Trump gets here tomorrow, we don’t think we’re going to see very much of him. He’ll be driven down from his apartment on Fifth Avenue. He’ll go in through a side entrance that will be blocked off by the police. He’ll be processed, fingerprinted, photographed in private, and then he’ll come into court using a special elevator, so he’ll be visible in the hallway for only a few seconds. And he has called for protests to go on outside. But so far, David, around here, there just aren’t very many of them. David.
Aaron Katersky will be on the air with you tomorrow here. Aaron, thank you. The former president, of course, no stranger to legal fights. And as tomorrow’s arraignment approached, he stepped up his attacks on the prosecutor and on the judge. And there is news tonight on a key addition to Trump’s legal team. ABC’s Chief Washington correspondent Jonathan Karl outside Trump Tower tonight.
Jonathan Karl (04:19):
As Donald Trump arrived in New York today, his motorcade taking him through the streets of Manhattan to Trump Tower, people close to the former president till ABC News, he wants to get it all over with and return to Florida as quickly as possible. He had previously told his allies he wanted to make a big show of defiance at the courthouse and at Trump Tower. He attempted to summon protestors. But now that the indictment is a reality, Trump wants it done with no fanfare.
Trump, however, is singularly focused on criticizing both the prosecutor, Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, and in a particularly risky move, attacking the presiding judge, Juan Mechan, the same judge who heard the case last year against the Trump organization and who sentenced longtime CFO, Allen Weisselberg to prison just this past January. In several posts over the last few days, Trump calls him a quote, Trump hating judge. Some legal experts are now questioning whether Judge Merchan will issue a gag order and how that would affect the former president who plans to speak from his Mar-a-Lago home when he returns tomorrow night.
So let’s bring in Jon Karl. He’s live outside Trump Tower tonight. And Jon, the real question tonight about whether the judge will impose this gag order in this case, we’ve been given no indication we should point out so far, either way. It is a given though that this judge will likely be very aware of what Donald Trump says. As you just pointed out. He does plan to speak tomorrow night to reporters outside Mar-a-Lago in the hours after he’s charged.
Jonathan Karl (05:49):
Yeah. And David, he may not say much here in New York, but once he gets back to Florida, back to Mar-a-Lago, I expect we’ll hear an all-out campaign against prosecutors, not just in this case, but in the other criminal investigations. He is facing an all out campaign against the criminal justice system, a campaign that will be virtually indistinguishable from his presidential campaign. He’s attacked investigators in the past, but now that he has a criminal defendant, as you know, his words can come back to haunt him. They can be used against him.
Meanwhile, he has kind of ramped up his legal team, adding a former prosecutor to his criminal defense team named Todd Blanche, somebody who worked as a federal prosecutor here in New York.
Real quick, Jon, just out of curiosity, it looks fairly quiet though outside Trump Tower there?
Jonathan Karl (06:36):
Many, many more reporters here than just about anybody. Not many protestors at all.
All right, Jon Karl, we’ll see you tomorrow night. Thank you, Jon.