Donald Trump has been formally arrested following his arrival at a New York courthouse where he will become the first former US president to face criminal charges.
The frontrunner to be the Republicans’ choice for the White House in 2024 surrendered to authorities at the Manhattan district attorney’s office in the same building.
Minutes earlier, he pumped his fist as he left his nearby home at Trump Tower before being escorted to Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in a motorcade by his Secret Service protection team.
Wearing a dark blue suit and red tie, he is due to be fingerprinted and processed but it is unclear whether a mugshot of him will also be taken.
Trump will then make his way to the courtroom for his arraignment where the formal charges will be disclosed and he is then expected to enter a plea. He is not expected to be in handcuffs during the proceedings.
On his social media platform, Truth Social, he wrote: “Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. Seems so SURREAL – WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!”
Television cameras will not be allowed inside the courtroom, after a ruling by Judge Juan Merchan, but five still photographers will have access before the hearing begins to take pictures of Trump and the scene.
However, TV cameras will be allowed in the hallways of the building so Trump may talk to reporters when he is there.
The indictment – a formal charge – contains multiple accusations of falsifying business records, including at least one felony offence, it has been reported.
A felony is usually defined as a crime punishable by a year or more in prison. Misdemeanours are less serious and are often defined as offences punishable by fines or less than 12 months behind bars.
Trump, 76, is being investigated over an alleged $130,000 (£104,000) hush money payment given to porn actress Stormy Daniels on his behalf in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, which he won.
It was allegedly made to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump at a hotel in Lake Tahoe in 2006.
He has denied having a sexual relationship with Ms Daniels.
Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has said the ex-president directed him to arrange the $130,000 payment to Ms Daniels.
And Trump has acknowledged reimbursing him for the payment, with the Trump Organization logging the reimbursement as legal expenses.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and is due to plead not guilty.
He calls the indictment a “witch-hunt” and claims it is politically motivated as the man who has led the investigation into him, District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is a Democrat.
Trump also says the probe is an attempt to weaken his bid to retake the White House next year.
A conviction would not prevent him from running for or winning the presidency in 2024. Sky News