Tuesday, April 4, 2023

The Spectacle of Trump in Criminal Court

Not since O.J. Simpson led police on June 17, 1994, on a near hour-long chase of a white Ford Bronco he was riding in along Interstate 405 in Los Angeles has the nation been treated to as mesmerizing a motorized spectacle as it was Tuesday. O.J.’s caravan of police cars in tempered pursuit ended when the Bronco parked in the driveway of his Brentwood home. Police arrested him for the alleged murder of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

By contrast, it took just 15 minutes for Donald Trump to be driven from his one-time main residence at Trump Tower on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue down the east side FDR Highway to the Manhattan Criminal Court Building where he was arraigned on 34 counts of Class E felonies of “falsifying business records in the first degree.”

Seven cars comprised Trump’s “honor guard,” a white police car in advance of six large, black SUV’s manned by an assortment of security personnel guarding the former president. 

On the way down to court, traffic had been cleared along the highway. On his exit from court as an indicted suspect, Trump’s motorcade had to deal with afternoon traffic along the FDR as it made its way to LaGuardia Airport where his private jet awaited his return to Mar-a-Lago in Florida. 

As Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg began a short news conference following the arraignment in New York State Supreme Court, a split television screen displayed Trump’s jet at the head of the runway awaiting takeoff.

As New York is the financial capital of the country if not the world, Bragg emphasized that Trump’s alleged crimes, falsifying business records, were the bread and butter of his office’s criminal prosecutions. 

Another Indignity: When it was time to leave the processing area before entering the courtroom, Trump emerged after two uniformed court officers. Neither of them held the door open for him. He had to push it open himself. 

If you’re looking for numbers to play for your next Power Ball or Mega Millions purchase, you might want to use Trump’s criminal indictment number—71543-23. 

Returning to the O.J. parallel, Trump, no doubt, is hoping for a similar court result—not guilty. 

Historical Perspective: Thanks to Gilda, here’s an article on the last time one of our most senior elected officials had to appear in court to answer a criminal indictment: https://whiteplainsjournal-ny-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=0172506be_134ab28