Home » Protests erupt as Trump pleads not guilty to criminal charges

Protests erupt as Trump pleads not guilty to criminal charges

by Daudu John

Protests erupt as Trump pleads not guilty to criminal charges

The immediate past President of the United States, Donald Trump, on Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal charges stemming from hush money allegedly paid to a porn star before the 2016 election, AFP reports.

The 76-year-old Republican became the first American president to be arrested on criminal charges when he entered the historic court hearing in New York.

With a stern glare, Trump was seen making his way into the courtroom in Manhattan without saying a word to waiting press, although he was expected to speak at length later, including at a campaign-style event at his Florida estate.

In a spectacle relayed on live television, with rival protesters rallying outside, the hearing marked a watershed moment for the US criminal and political system, with the potential to upend the 2024 White House race in which Trump is currently the leading Republican nominee.

The twice-impeached Republican’s arrest is a development that has propelled the US into uncharted political waters.

Police lined the streets while helicopters buzzed in the skies as Trump’s motorcade made the short drive to court, a journey given wall-to-wall live coverage on US networks.

Trump was not subjected to a “perp walk” in which a defendant is escorted in handcuffs past media cameras.

Outside the venue were hundreds of people, including Trump supporters and anti-Trump demonstrators, as well as media and curious onlookers.

Police stepped into the fray as the pro-Trump side, many sporting “MAGA” hats and attire emblazoned with the American flag, yelled slurs at counter protesters.

The anti-Trump camp unfurled a large banner reading “Trump lies all the time” and chanted “Lock him up!” as Trump fans waved a flag with the slogan “Trump or Death.”

Meanwhile, the White House on Tuesday said Trump’s arraignment was not a focus for President Joe Biden

“Obviously he will catch part of the news when he has a moment to catch up on news of the day but this is not a focus for him,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The sole public event on Biden’s schedule Tuesday was a meeting with advisors on emerging artificial intelligence technology.


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