New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan, who is poised to preside over the historic alleged hush-money prosecution of former President Donald Trump, warned Trump to refrain from posting on social media, as it could foment civil unrest.
Trump posted on his Truth Social account anyway.
“Alvin Bragg shut down New York City, brought in 38,000 NYPD officers, and will spend an estimated $200,000,000 of NYC funds, for a totally legal $130,000 NDA. On top of all that, the 9th Circuit Court just awarded me $122,000 — over the $500,000 already awarded, from Stormy ‘Horseface’ Daniels!” the former president wrote on social media.
The alert from Merchan reported by The Associated Press comes after Trump surrendered to authorities in New York City for an arraignment on Tuesday afternoon amid legal proceedings over 34 felony charges of falsifying business records, stemming from alleged hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election cycle.
Trump pleaded not guilty while face-to-face with Merchan, who told him to refrain from rhetoric about the historic moment of becoming the first former United States president to be charged with a crime, and the players involved in the process.
In the 24 hours leading up to Trump turning himself into authorities, the former commander-in-chief posted several messages on his Truth Social account about the case.
“Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse,” Trump said on Tuesday. “Seems so SURREAL — WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!”
Many critics have characterized the case as politically motivated since Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has garnered a reputation for being soft on crime concerning violent offenses.
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Immediately after Yahoo News Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff reported that Trump would face 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, the former president posted on social media that Bragg had illegally leaked information in the indictment.
“Wow! District Attorney Bragg just illegally LEAKED the various points, and complete information, on the pathetic Indictment against me. I know the reporter and so, unfortunately, does he. This means that he MUST BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED,” Trump said. “Now, if he wants to really clean up his reputation, he will do the honorable thing and, as District Attorney, INDICT HIMSELF. He will go down in Judicial history, and his Trump Hating wife will be, I am sure, very proud of him!”
“D.A. BRAGG JUST ILLEGALLY LEAKED THE 33 points of Indictment,” Trump continued. “There are no changes or surprises from those he leaked days ago directly out of the Grand Jury. No Crime by Trump. What a MESS. Bragg should resign, NOW!”
Bragg said Tuesday that Trump and others employed a “catch and kill” scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects during the 2016 presidential election.
“Manhattan is home to the country’s most significant business market,” Bragg said in a news release. “We cannot allow New York businesses to manipulate their records to cover up criminal conduct.”
Bragg said that the trail of money and lies exposes a pattern that allegedly violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws.
“As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law,” he added.
The grand jury indictment against former President Donald Trump was unsealed in a Manhattan court Tuesday afternoon as the former president sat in the room while under arrest.
Trump entered a plea of not guilty.
Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina told The Associated Press that the former president “is strong and ready to go.”
Tacopina reportedly said in a TV interview earlier that Trump refuses to plead guilty to lesser charges and doesn’t believe the case would make it to a jury.
Authorities set Trump’s next court date for December 4.
Following his departure from the lower Manhattan courtroom, Trump also posted on his Truth Social account that he plans to deliver remarks tonight at Mar-a-Lago at 8:15 p.m.
“The hearing was shocking to many in that they had no ‘surprises,’ and therefore, no case,” Trump said. “Virtually every legal pundit has said that there is no case here.”
“There was nothing done illegally!”