Tensions rose outside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on Tuesday as supporters and protesters gathered hours before Donald Trump’s scheduled arraignment. The former US president was expected to leave Trump Tower for the courthouse at 10:30 a.m., flanked by a Secret Service and NYPD motorcade that triggered rolling road closures. Democrat protesters outside Trump Tower clanged cowbells and called on the former president to “wake up and smell the justice.” Meanwhile, protesters from both sides descended on the courthouse, separated by NYPD barricades. Trump fan Juliet Germanotta was seen attempting to rip an anti-Trump banner, causing a scrappy back-and-forth with protesters. Another Trump supporter was heard yelling obscenities, and a man carrying a sound boom and backpack angrily threatened others.
Disgraced Congressman George Santos made a surprise appearance and was warmly greeted by Germanotta. While the crowd was much smaller than those gathered in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, a handful of individuals, including a 7/11 cashier from the Bronx and a retired woman from Brooklyn, turned out to show their support or opposition. Trump’s attorneys said he will speak outside the courthouse before going inside and again afterwards before making his way back to his plane at LaGuardia airport. The arraignment is set to begin at 2:15 pm, and some 34 felony counts are expected, although it is unclear what those are. In a Truth Social post, Trump expressed his frustration with the indictment and called on the D.A. to resign.