With Rainbow banners and signs in tow, members of Gays Against Guns, Rise and Resist, and We Will Not Be Silent joined the packed crowds in Manhattan on April 4 for the historic arrest of former president Donald Trump.
Queer activists made their voices heard in multiple locations — including Trump Tower and the New York County Criminal Courthouse where Trump was arraigned — on a whirlwind day that featured chaotic appearances by fringe right-wing politicians Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who delivered remarks in Chinatown, and George Santos of New York. Democrats, including Congressmember Jamaal Bowman of the Bronx and Westchester, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, and out Councilmember Chi Ossé of Brooklyn, were also on hand.
Trump was indicted last week before flying to New York on April 3 and staying overnight at Trump Tower ahead of his arrest. As part of a glaring scandal over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts for falsifying business records. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accuses Trump of carrying out a “catch-and-kill” pattern between August of 2015 and December of 2017 that involved payoffs to kill negative stories about him during the 2016 election. Trump allegedly paid $130,000 to Daniels and $150,000 to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal by funneling money through the former president’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, in conjunction with American Media Inc., the former publisher of the National Enquirer. After becoming president, Cohen was reimbursed through 11 checks — nine of which were signed by Trump.
Prosecutors also accused Trump of paying $30,000 to a Trump Tower doorman because he claimed to know about a child Trump had out of wedlock.
“The People of the State of New York allege that Donald J. Trump repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election,” Bragg said in a written statement. “Manhattan is home to the country’s most significant business market. We cannot allow New York businesses to manipulate their records to cover up criminal conduct.”
Trump faces a maximum of four years behind bars for each count.