For weeks, anticipation has been building—will a former president actually be made to go through the normal criminal justice system and be subjected to the public debasements faced by other defendants, like being handcuffed, receiving a perp walk, or getting a mug shot?
The answer, as we've found out during the long press line vigil that Hell Gate has now sat on for eighteen hours—FYI, we are still willing to sell our primo courtroom spot for at least $10,000, or best offer—is that no, former President Donald Trump will most likely not be handcuffed, "perp walked," or have his photo taken by a rude NYPD intake officer. ("He'll be processed the way anyone else would be, to a degree," one of Trump's attorneys, a smiling Joe Tacopina, told GMA.)
Instead, he'll be whisked to the fifteenth floor of 100 Centre Street for his arraignment on 34 felony charges, the first step in a still kind of hard-to-believe ordeal that will ultimately end in an actual trial (???). Who knows, maybe he'll already be president again by then (justice moves…slowly in New York). Still, it's going to be tough for Ol' Donny Deals to wriggle out of this one!
Might Trump plead guilty to petty misdemeanors to make all this go away? "One thing I can assure you as I sit here today, there will be no guilty plea in this case," Tacopina said.
Back on the press line, the underemployed journalists and professional line sitters alike are being relieved by the credentialed, well-heeled press, eager for their chance to report on history (all without paying their dues on the line). Bright-eyed, late-arriving reporters without the resources for hired help survey the queue and receive steely glares in response from those of us at the front of it. (Again, if you'd like our spot, we’re down to make a deal!) Pizza boxes and empty beer cans and cigarette butts and possibly two lost dice belonging to an anonymous Hell Gate reporter litter the sidewalk.
Outside the courthouse today, dueling rallies are planned—one, in support of Trump, spearheaded by Marjorie Taylor Greene, and then a counterprotest against that one. The plan, as explained by court officials, is to clear the entire area around 100 Centre Street by noon today, and then move ahead with the arraignment by 2:15 p.m. Trump apparently declined the chance to do the arraignment virtually, and we're all the better for it. (And we could be $10,000 better for it if you're getting desperate, foreign media!)
Check back in later for our coverage of the arraignment/our congratulations to a winning bidder on their contribution to worker-owned local journalism!