Donald Trump’s lawyer insists the former president will not be put in handcuffs after a New York grand jury voted on Thursday to indict him over hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
Speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday, a lawyer representing Trump, Joe Tacopina, said the indictment was shocking to Trump and his team.
“I feel like the rule of law died yesterday in this country, and it’s not something I’m happy about,” Tacopina said. “This is unprecedented in this country’s history. I don’t know what to expect other than an arraignment.”
Tacopina outlined what could happen: the courthouse will close as Trump arrives, Trump will appear in front of a judge and plead not guilty. His team will file motions against the indictment, arguing against “the legal liability of this case”.
“I’m sure they’ll try to get every ounce of publicity from this thing,” Tacopina said. Referring to Trump and prosecutors, he added: “The president will not be put in handcuffs. I’m sure they’ll try to make sure they get some joy out of this by parading him.”
Secret Service and New York state and city police are not “going to allow this to become a circus, at least as much as humanly possible”, Tacopina predicted. According to a memo seen by NBC, New York police have been told to report for duty on Friday and be prepared for “unusual disorder”.
Since the indictment was still under seal on Friday morning, it was unclear how many charges Trump faces for the payment made to Daniels, for which he reimbursed his-then lawyer Michael Cohen, who ended up going to prison for crimes partly related to the case, and has turned on his former boss and testified for the prosecution to the grand jury.
Reports say Trump is facing at least 30 counts of business fraud. This is the first time a former US president has ever been criminally indicted.
Though it is unclear whether Trump will be handcuffed, he is expected to be fingerprinted and photographed.