You’d think he was in a white Ford Bronco.
Donald Trump arrived in New York on Monday to face unprecedented criminal charges — with TV news cameras trailing his every movement all the way from Mar-a-Lago to Trump Tower, where the former president was welcomed by a group of supporters.
The 76-year-old’s journey from his Palm Beach, Florida resort to his namesake Midtown tower was carried live on cable TV — setting the stage for the historic, first-ever criminal prosecution of a current or former US president.
Sources said the ex-president will spend the night at Trump Tower, and won’t leave until early Tuesday afternoon, when he will surrender to law enforcement at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office.
He’s set to arrive at the criminal courthouse at 100 Centre Street a few hours prior to his arraignment — on an indictment handed up last week by a grand jury that’s been investigating “hush money” payments made in the lead up to the 2016 election.
The exact charges against the 2024 Republican presidential hopeful will remain under seal until the hearing, but sources and reports said Trump faces several counts of falsifying business records, including at least one felony — which could land him behind bars for up to four years if he’s convicted.
Banner-waving supporters bid Trump farewell — and decried the case — as his motorcade traveled from his estate to Palm Beach International Airport, where he boarded his brand-name red, white and blue Boeing 757 jet early Monday afternoon with his son, Eric Trump.
Even Eric, 39, tweeted about the spectacle while aboard Trump Force One, writing, “Watching the plane… from the plane,” along with a photo from inside the cabin of a TV showing cable news coverage of the trip.
When he touched down at LaGuardia Airport just hours later, Trump was quickly whisked off in an NYPD-escorted motorcade en route to his residence on Fifth Avenue.
The 45th president arrived at his towering skyscraper to find it flanked by protesters, supporters and a sea of cameras and reporters. He waved to the crowd before briskly walking inside.
Some two to three dozen pro-Trump protesters had gathered outside his namesake tower hours ahead of his arrival as NYPD officers manned metal barricades surrounding the skyscraper.
The supporters, corralled in metal barricades between East 56th and 55th streets on the avenue, held large signs including some reading: “Finish the Wall,” “Trump ‘24 for President” and “Chinese Americans Fight for Trump.”
Susan Miller, a 35-year New York City resident, said she thinks Trump is innocent and that she has “disdain” for Bragg.
“I’m here to complain about my DA,” the downtown Manhattan dweller said. “They’re letting criminals loose, tons of crime and they’re going after a totally innocent man.”
Meanwhile, reporters began lining up for a seat in the courtroom — early Monday afternoon — with some planning on spending the night outdoors outside the courthouse.
The grand jury that handed up the indictment last week had been hearing evidence and witness testimony since January tied to the seven-year-old case.
The case is centered on the $130,000 payment made by then-Trump attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels, to buy her silence about a fling she claimed to have had with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006 while his wife Melania was home with their newborn child, Barron. Trump denies the affair, as well as any wrongdoing tied to the payment.
Jurors also heard evidence related to a separate $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal by the National Enquirer to obtain exclusive rights to her story about an affair with Trump before the 2016 election, sources said. The outlet never ran the story, a practice known as “catch and kill.”
Cohen, the prosecution’s star witness, served a three-year sentence, mostly under home confinement, after pleading guilty in 2018 to federal campaign finance charges and lying to Congress — crimes committed during his stint as Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer.
Follow The Post’s latest coverage on Trump’s indictment
Trump has blasted Bragg over the charges, which his lawyers and allies have called “political persecution.”
“WITCH HUNT, as our once great Country is going to HELL!” he posted on his Truth Social platform on Monday, shortly before taking off from Florida.
Following his surrender, expected at around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, he’ll be fingerprinted and will likely have his mugshot taken ahead of his initial court appearance, sources told The Post.
Bragg is set to hold a press conference following the hearing, where Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina has said he expects to enter a “not guilty” plea. Trump could likely be whisked away by the Secret Service agents accompanying him after the proceeding.
He’s scheduled to return to Mar-a-Lago after his arraignment to address his supporters on Tuesday night — in what will be his first speech since the indictment.
Additional reporting by Emily Crane
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