Not the usual people Trump likes to surround himself with

On Tuesday afternoon at about 2:00pm Eastern time, Donald Trump will be processed in a Manhattan courthouse as a result of the indictment against him. He will be booked into the system, photographed, fingerprinted, read his Miranda rights, and then walked over to the courtroom to appear before the judge and be asked to plead guilty or not guilty to each of the the charges against him. This will the be the first time that the charges will be made public. It is rumored that the number of charges are around 30 so that could take some time and he will be placed in the embarrassing position of standing quietly before the judge while the charges are read out. For someone who likes to be in control of his immediate surroundings and dominate the conversation, this will be excruciating. I do not believe that the charged person gets to make a statement so he will not be able to rant about how this is all so unfair and a political witch hunt. Then there is the question of bail. It is unlikely that the prosecution will ask for any bail and will let him leave the court under his own recognizance but that little step will add to the humiliation.

While access to the courthouse has already started to be severely restricted, one can expect a lot of people to be outside the courthouse on Tuesday, but it is going to be hard to predict the relative sizes of Trump supporters, opponents, media, and just gawkers. I suspect that it will be mostly a media circus. Reports say that the number of pro-Trump people have turned up since the indictment can be counted on one hand. It may be that his supporters are a little gun shy about showing up after what happened to their comrades on January 6th, with the situation spiraling out of control and thousands being charged and many sent to prison. Also at that time they were deluded that they could actually change the outcome of the election. They must surely realize that there is no way that they can stop this process from playing out. The number of Trumpists may be larger on Tuesday but I doubt that there will be any real trouble, given that as a result of the events of January 6th, police will be out in force. But there may be some clashes between his supporters and opponents.

Because he has Secret Service protection, the process during the arraignment is going to be a little more crowded than usual. The others who are scheduled to be arraigned that day at the courthouse constitute a motley crew, not the kind of people he likes to be surrounded by.

The Washington Post reported on Friday that the Secret Service director, Kimberly Cheatle, told agents that the agency will take “the necessary steps” to protect Trump from harm, including placing agents in a “bubble formation” to separate him from the public.

But Cheatle also said the service had not sought any special accommodations in the court’s standard procedures for processing and arraignment. The former president will nonetheless find himself in company he probably did not anticipate.

Indictments and criminal trials scheduled for Tuesday at the same courthouse include: burglary for taking paintings from a West Village townhouse; a thwarted terrorist attack on a Jewish community; the illegal selling of firearms; murder for a deadly East Harlem hammer attack; murder and attempted murder for attacking multiple homeless men; murder and criminal possession of a weapon for shooting into a car in East Harlem; and a grand larceny case involving sim-card swapping.

Trump will not be handcuffed at his arraignment or subjected to a “perp walk”, and discussions are still being held about whether his booking photo will be publicly circulated. Trump reportedly “wants the mugshot out” because it could harness donations to his presidential campaign.

Two weeks ago when he himself released the rumor of a coming indictment, Trump said that he wanted to be handcuffed behind his back during the proceedings. I thought that it was a bluff, trying to appear insouciant and put a good face on a bad situation, and it looks like that was correct since he has backed down.

It is also likely that he does not really want his mug shot released. I expect him to wear his trademark suit and red tie and is probably practicing poses this weekend so that he will like the way he looks. I am not sure if they allow for multiple retakes of the photo if the person is dissatisfied about how well it turns out. Almost invariably mug shots are leaked and so, whether he likes it or not, they will be publicly available soon after.


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    Trump surrounded by second-rate criminals and fanatics? A day ending with “y”.

  2. Matt G says

    Pierce@1- they pursue a Big Tent strategy, the only condition being moral bankruptcy.

  3. johnson catman says

    It would be particularly satisfying to see the crowd outside the courthouse start chanting “Lock him up!”, especially if The Orange Menace could witness it firsthand.

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