July 24, 2024

A Manhattan grand jury’s indictment of former President Donald Trump will set in motion a criminal process that will, in some ways, work like that of any other defendant, and in others, look very different. 

When someone is indicted, the charges are sometimes kept under seal until the defendant’s first appearance in court. The charges that the grand jury approved against Trump are currently not public.  

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected,” a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

First appearances are usually public proceedings. If an arrest of a defendant is not needed, arrangements are made with them or their lawyers for a voluntary surrender to law enforcement. With their first appearance in court, defendants are usually booked and finger-printed. 

Trump’s attorneys were informed of the grand jury’s vote shortly after the indictment was publicly reported, sources told CNN. A Trump lawyer told CNN that Trump will likely be arraigned in court next week. 

What happens in a first appearance can vary. But if a first appearance is also an arraignment, a plea is expected to be entered. It is typical at a first appearance that release conditions are discussed – such as travel restrictions or home confinement – and defendants are informed of their rights. The lawyers for the government and the defendant also often enter their appearance at this stage of the court proceedings. 

Trump will likely be allowed to turn himself in voluntarily, but it’s still unclear if his arraignment will happen in-person or remotely. 

Trump will have to go through certain processes that any other defendant must go through when a charge has been brought against him. But Trump’s status as a former president who is currently running for the White House again will undoubtably inject additional security and practical concerns around the next steps in his case. 

Whatever travel Trump must take for his arraignment will need to be coordinated with Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies.

Those conversations between the Secret Service, the US Marshal’s Service and the New York Police Department have begun, a senior NYPD source told CNN. 

NYPD officers were told Thursday evening via internal memo that they should be in uniform and ready for deployment on Friday.

CNN’s Kara Scannell, Paula Reid, Lauren DelValle, Shimon Prokupecz, Brynn Gingras and Evan Perez contributed to this reporting.