(West Palm Beach) Donald Trump left Florida on Monday to fight “battle” in New York where a criminal court must serve him on Tuesday in a case of fraud linked to the payment of money to a porn star, a bet in a historic legal case against a former president of the United States.
It’s all the more extraordinary as the 76-year-old Republican billionaire, who left the White House amid sound and fury in January 2021, has re-entered the race for the Republican nomination to win back the presidency in November 2024.
“On the way to New York. Let’s make the United States great again,” the 45th President of the United States wrote in capital letters on his Truth Social social network, as often, before his private Boeing 757, bearing his name, took off from Palm Beach in Florida towards 1 p.m.
Leaving his Mar-a-Lago mansion, he still felt he was the victim of a “WITCH HUNT as [his] great country sinks into HELL”.
On the road to the airport, a few anonymous supporters waving flags defended him as a “strong leader [who] will be [their] next president.”
For now, the former tenant of the White House (2017-2021) – who dreams of returning there in January 2025 – is preparing for the legal “battle” of New York, according to one of his lawyers.
In an unprecedented move, the populist former head of state, who upended the political system, society and the balance of power in the United States, was criminally charged on March 30 by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
After five years of investigation by the New York State Department.
Donald Trump swears he is “innocent” and his lawyer Joseph Tacopina estimated Sunday that Tuesday would be “the day the rule of law dies in the United States”.
The real estate magnate, born in New York and where he prospered thanks to his fortune and his empire, must be served on Tuesday from 2:15 p.m. with criminal proceedings: they have not been made public but would be at number of 30 and would revolve around the accounting concealment of the reimbursement of a payment of 130,000 dollars at the end of 2016 to the actress of porn films Stormy Daniels.
This summons, an unprecedented ritual for a former head of state, should see Mr. Trump decline his name, age, profession, submit to a fingerprinting and be photographed, as warned.
According to Mr. Tacopina, he will not be handcuffed but may have to walk through the halls of the Manhattan courthouse, in the presence of media, in a mess that is bound to be indescribable.
His security will be provided by the Secret Service, the elite police that protects senior American dignitaries.
Before the judge, “the president will plead not guilty” because “there is no criminal offense” according to his defense. Donald Trump should then be released, possibly under conditions, pending the organization of his trial.
Surprised and destabilized to be prosecuted in his hometown acquired by the Democrats, the businessman had complained on Friday on Truth Social of not being able to benefit from a “fair trial in New York”.
In this area of the courthouse in lower Manhattan, under very high security and while the police declared themselves “on alert” since Friday, supporters including the elected Republican far-right Marjorie Taylor Greene, have planned to demonstrate.
But New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer, warned would-be “troublemakers” on Monday, urging them to “restrain themselves.”
Donald Trump, who with his supporters has been accusing Joe Biden for two and a half years of “cheating” and “stealing” the November 2020 presidential victory, is scheduled to speak Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. back home. him in Florida.
The surroundings of the Trump Tower, on the mythical 5th Avenue in Manhattan, where Donald Trump will stay, are also under high security, even if a choir of children from a school in Wisconsin gave a small concert in the basement of the skyscraper -sky.
The case that comes back to torment Donald Trump dates back to October 2016, just before his surprise election at the head of the first world power.
His personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who turned against him, had at the time paid 130,000 dollars to the actress of pornographic films Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to buy her silence. The porn star claims she had sex with Donald Trump. What the interested party denies.
The magnate admitted that he had reimbursed Michael Cohen, but assures that the transaction was not illegal.
If the agreement made with Stormy Daniels was indeed authorized, it could however correspond to a campaign expense. However, the sum does not appear in the candidate’s accounts and has, instead, been listed as “legal fees” in his company’s documents.
The “Stormy Daniels” investigation is just one of many threatening Donald Trump.
Federal justice has opened investigations into his role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and his management of the presidential archives after his departure from the White House. A Georgia state prosecutor is also interested in pressure on election officials to contest her defeat in the 2020 presidential election.