Former President Donald Trump arrived in court in Manhattan, New York today to be arraigned on 34 criminal charges. Trump is historically the first U.S. president to face criminal charges. Trump arrived in New York City yesterday ahead of today’s arraignment, with the city keeping their eyes open in case of any protests turning violent.
The charges Trump is facing all revolve around falsifying business records. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg stated in a press conference that Trump was allegedly involved in a “catch and kill,” which refers to the “buying and suppression of negative information, so as to raise his chances of winning the election.”
In 2017, records show that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen wired money to adult film star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer. The payment was made to look like it was for legal fees, but according to Daniels, it was hush money for their alleged affair that occurred before the 2016 presidential election, shortly after Melania Trump gave birth to her son with Donald Trump, Barron Trump.
Trump allegedly additionally paid hush money to a New York City doorman who once alleged that the former president had a child out of wedlock. The string of payments that were filed as “legal fees” were investigated by New York prosecutors, leading to the string of 34 criminal charges. Trump plead not guilty to all charges.
He is due to stand trial in December, and it remains unclear whether the trial date will be moved up. The internet had a lot of thoughts about the events of the arraignment, and the ensuing chaos in New York City today.
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has long attracted criticism for her promotion of Christian Nationalism, antisemitic and prejudiced remarks during her time in congress. She flew to New York City today to proclaim what she feels is Trump’s innocence, and New Yorkers did not take kindly to her comments.
Greene even went as far as referring to the Democratic party as “the party of violence.” Congressman Jamaal Bowman, who represents New York’s 16th District, took to TikTok to post an impassioned plea for New Yorkers to not accept hate speech in the city.
Today, I came to New York City to peacefully and patriotically make my voice heard: “PRESIDENT TRUMP DID NOTHING WRONG!” pic.twitter.com/pdsYYogDyx
— Marjorie Taylor Greene ???????? (@mtgreenee) April 4, 2023
I was born and raised in NYC. We will NEVER accept hateful rhetoric and white supremacy. Marjorie needs to get back to Washington and her district and do something about gun violence. #JamaalBowman
Actor and comedian Michael Rappaport, a New York-native and an outspoken critic of the Trump administration and the Republican party, incited a cheer to get Marjorie Taylor Greene to leave the arraignment after hearing her remarks.
We just ran this Infected Animal out of NYC!!!! pic.twitter.com/1ZP6D80vMT
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) April 4, 2023
Many reflect with shock over how divided the political landscape of America has gotten since the Trump presidency. Some wonder if things would be different had Gen Z been old enough to vote in 2016.
I forgot about the allegation Trump paid off a doorman who said he had a child out of wedlock. It's crazy this man won the electoral college as crooked as he is because "grab em by the p*ssy" should've been the last straw. #TrumpArraignment pic.twitter.com/amtwvuBogS
— Reecie @BlackWomenViews (@ReecieColbert) April 4, 2023
Reaction memes to the situation took over Twitter today.
— ???? (@D1aphanousBTS) April 4, 2023
— Alex Cole (@acnewsitics) April 4, 2023
Countless news organizations offered live coverage of the arraignment. CNN’s Van Jones’ analysis of Trump’s demeanor entering the courtroom has additionally attracted controversy online.
Outside of the criminal charges Trump already faces, he could potentially be charged for election interference in Georgia, money laundering in New York, and the rape of journalist E. Jean Carroll.
Given Trump’s history of speaking down to members of the press, today’s charges, and his several alleged sexual assault crimes, many viewers felt that Jones’ attempt to humanize him was not warranted.
Van Jones on Trump's arrest: 'He looks sad … I don't like the prison system, so I don't like this process … doesn't mean that accountability is not owed, but that is a granddad having a very bad day.' pic.twitter.com/exs1tw0Eec
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 4, 2023
As a community, we need to organize how and when to pull up on Van Jones. I had to turn off CNN. He kept trying to make Trump a victim of an unjust court system. ????
Why attempt to humanize Trump as a grandfather and parent when he used his power as President to dehumanize us? pic.twitter.com/UDLFwk8XuQ
— Ola Ojewumi (@Olas_Truth) April 4, 2023
Journalist Soledad O’Brien also reposted the clip of Jones discussing Trump’s courtroom entrance, further criticizing Jones.
Lol. You know what I always tell you guys about Van Jones. https://t.co/oCRaAMIzbm
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) April 4, 2023
Trump is currently en route back to his Mar-A-Lago residence in Florida, where he is scheduled to speak on the indictment this evening. Trump technically can run for president again, as the Constitution does not prevent convicted felons from running for president.