OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump will try to capitalize on his court appearance Tuesday after being indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday in a way that he hopes will further solidify his frontrunner status for the 2024 GOP nomination, according to a Saturday report.
Specifically, Trump will give a speech to his America First supporters during a press event after he is formally arrested, booked, and makes his initial court appearance, the Washington Times reported. Trump will tell his MAGA movement that, in reality, the arrest was about them, not him.
Trump has been refining his message to mobilize his supporters in response to the indictment, which is the first time a former president has faced criminal charges, the outlet reported.
“The Deep State will use anything at their disposal to shut down the one political movement that puts YOU first,” Trump said in a social media message in which he also sought campaign donations.
“Mr. Trump’s supporters believe the indictment will backfire on notoriously liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and propel Mr. Trump to the presidency in 2024. They think it will energize not just Mr. Trump’s base in the Make America Great Again movement but also a broader coalition of Republicans and independents,” the Times noted. “Mr. Trump is expected to arrive in New York on Tuesday for an unprecedented perp walk, fingerprinting, mugshot and post-arraignment press conference.”
Democrats appear to be keenly aware that Trump will likely use the spectacle of his arrest to his political advantage.
Former Obama administration figure-turned-CNN contributor David Axelrod said on Saturday that Bragg’s office would be better off not releasing Trump’s mugshot.
“One thing I want to say about how he [Trump] is handled on Tuesday if I were the DA, if I were to advise him, and I’m not a lawyer, I’m a political strategist, but I would give him every courtesy that I could. I would certainly not handcuff him. I think he would love that picture,” Axelrod began. “I would make very sure that that booking photo is not released. He would turn it into t-shirts and turn himself into Che Guevara there as an iconic image,” he said.
“I would just make sure that this goes down smoothly and that he is he is not made a spectacle of in on Tuesday because that will all play into his public relations strategy there. And the martyrdom….will play into his public relations strategy there,” he added.
Libs on CNN with the most unhinged Freudian slip of all time as they PANIC that if Trump's mugshot is made public it will expose their indictment as purely political.
They're worried about the *PR* aspect of imploding the US justice system into a Stalinist circus. pic.twitter.com/64hNkCvyZH
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) March 31, 2023
Trump was indicted Thursday on charges he illegally paid $130,000 in hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. He is also charged with allegedly being linked to a $150,000 payment to Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, after both she and Daniels alleged they had an affair with him. He has denied both claims.
Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, appeared on Fox News on Friday night and spoke to host Sean Hannity about the details surrounding the former president’s arrest and arraignment.
“On Tuesday, the president will be arraigned. We expect a mug shot. We expect the president will have his fingerprints. We expect what? Is he going to be perp walked? Is he going to be in handcuffs? Are they going to try and say he can’t have bail?” the host said.
“I don’t think anything dramatic like that is going to happen. Even if they tried to that would further solidify the notion he is being so selectively targeted and treated differently than anyone in the world. You can go smack a police officer in Times Square right now, knock him out, you’ll be out on bail. You’ll get bail, no problem. Are they going to ask bail on a misdemeanor case?” Tacopina said.
“Yeah, but they don’t have the last name Trump, Joe,” Hannity said.
“Of course not. Here’s the thing. We don’t really know what’s going to happen Tuesday because, logistically, this has never happened. We have the Secret Service involved in an arraignment. When have you seen that before? Never,” the attorney said.
“You have not worked out all those details yet as of this point?” the host said.
“They’re not worked out yet. We have some ideas, but no, nothing is worked out yet,” the attorney said.