Donald Trump indictment: Court hearing scheduled, no handcuffs will be used, says lawyer

He has become first former US president to face criminal charges even as he makes another run for the White House

By Web Desk

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AP file photo
AP file photo

Published: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 7:46 PM

Last updated: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 10:21 PM

The court hearing for the criminal case of former US president Donald Trump has been scheduled on Tuesday, April 4, at 2.15pm (Eastern time), a spokesperson told the BBC.

Trump's lawyer said no handcuffs will be used during the court appearance, the report added.


Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury after a probe into hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels. This makes him the first former US president to face criminal charges even as he makes another run for the White House.

The charges, arising from an investigation led by Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, could reshape the 2024 presidential race. Trump previously said he would continue campaigning for the Republican Party's nomination if charged with a crime.


He is due to be fingerprinted and photographed in a New York courthouse next week.

For nearly two weeks, Trump has been using the legal threats he confronts to raise money and rally supporters as he seeks his party's nomination to challenge Democratic President Joe Biden next year.

The first US president to try to overthrow an election defeat, inspiring the deadly assault on the US Capitol, has signalled he will continue to campaign even as he faces charges.

"I am not afraid of what's to come," he said in a fundraising email on Friday.

The specific charges are not yet known, though CNN reported that Trump faced more than 30 counts related to business fraud.

Susan Necheles, a Trump attorney, told Reuters the former president will plead not guilty.

"He's ready to fight. He's gearing up," lawyer, Joseph Tacopina told Reuters.

Trump, 76, said on Thursday that he was "completely innocent" and accused Bragg, a Democrat, of trying to damage his electoral chances.

The presiding judge in that case, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, is expected to oversee the Daniels case as well, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Though it is unclear what specific charges Trump will face, some legal experts have said Bragg might have to rely on untested legal theories to argue that Trump falsified business records to cover up other crimes, such as violating federal campaign-finance law.

Ahead of the indictment, the grand jury heard months of evidence about an alleged $130,000 payment to Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 campaign.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she received money in exchange for keeping silent about a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006.

The former president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has said he coordinated with Trump on the payments to Daniels and to a second woman, former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also said she had a sexual relationship with him.

Trump has denied having affairs with either woman and initially disputed knowing anything about the payments. He later acknowledged reimbursing Cohen for what he called a "simple private transaction."

(with inputs from Reuters)

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