Fears of riots and riots gripped Manhattan as protesters gathered outside the courthouse chanting in support of the former US president.
In his first public appearance on Truth Social shortly before the court ruling, the former US president commented that the district where the trial is being held is the district where 1% of Republicans voted.
Referring to the Judiciary, he spoke of it being “very partisan” and of people who “hate Trump”.
Hours before he was due to appear in a Manhattan court, the former president suggested that the trial be moved to another location.
In his post on Truth Social, Trump specifically suggested moving the case to nearby Staten Island, a “very fair and safe location” that is friendlier to the Republican Party. He also launched a scathing attack on the “judge and his family” who “hate Trump”, commenting that his daughter worked on the campaign of current Vice President Kamala Harris. “A mock trial,” the post concludes.
A handful of Trump supporters and critics had gathered outside the Manhattan courthouse, awaiting his arraignment amid tight security. In a video posted on Twitter by a BuzzFeed reporter, two Trump supporters – one of them wrapped in an American flag – can be seen arguing with a third over a large, black banner that read “Trump Lies All the Time.” The fight stopped with the intervention of the police.
“Today is the day a governing political party ARRESTS their primary opponent without committing ANY CRIME,” Trump wrote in an email to supporters this morning.