New York, Apr 4 (EFE).- The area around the courthouse where former President Donald Trump must appear to hear the dozens of felony charges against him in the so-called hush-money case on Tuesday morning was deluged with hundreds of reporters posted there to try and capture images of the arrival of the first US president in history to be criminally charged.
Trump is scheduled to appear in court shortly after 2 pm before Judge Juan Manuel Merchan, who will read the charges to him, which total 33, according to assorted leaks.
Small groups of pro- and anti-Trump demonstrators also gathered in the vicinity in respondse to various calls to show up at Collect Park plaza next to the courthouse.
Police had separated the two groups with a barrier that kept the ex-president’s supporters and detractors at least two meters (yards) apart, but across the barrier the two sides remarked back and forth at each other such things as “He’s the best president” and “Lock him up!” – but all that transpired in a civilized atmosphere and without the slightest hint of aggression or violence.
The pro-Trump group had been called to the scene several days ago by Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a hardline Trump supporter, but prior to that the crowds backing the ex-president had constituted only a few dozen people, whether they gathered in New York, Miami or Washington.
Trump’s followers showed up outfitted with assorted patriotic symbols or in the costumes of superheroes, while his adversaries brought pots and cooking utensils with the aim of banging on them to silence any pro-Trump brouhaha during the day.
On Monday, New York Mayor Eric Adams warmed about potential excesses by Trump partisans, saying: “As always we will not allow violence or vandalism of any kind. If one is caught participating in any act of violence, they will be arrested and held accountable. No matter who you are.”
Adams expressly mentioned Greene, saying that: “Although we have no specific threats, people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is known to spread misinformation and hate speech [has] stated she is coming to town. While you are in town, be on your best behavior.”
In the hours before his scheduled court appearance, Trump apparently was spending the time at Trump Tower on 5th Avenue, the tourist heart of the city where he lived during his childhood and youth.
The former president and real estate magnate returned to the skyscraper bearing his name – which simultaneously is a luxury hotel and a business center – on Monday afternoon and since then he has not been seen in public.
Police have not blocked traffic along 5th Ave., but they did set up hundreds of yards of metal fencing and barriers to prevent vehicles from parking in the immediate vicinity.
Journalists from hundreds of media outlets from all over the world have been reporting from the area all morning.