As former US President, Donald Trump, surrendered to the authorities in Manhattan and is arraigned in court, his case will be heard by Acting New York Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan at 2:15 p.m. ET. Juan will preside over the most high-profile case in the history of America but in the past, he has sent out ruling related to Trump Organization's former CFO Allen Weisselberg, and had overseen the former adviser Steve Bannon’s criminal fraud case.
Trump, on the other hand, will be represented by senior advisers Boris Epshteyn and Jason Miller and three lawyers - Susan Necheles, Todd Blanche and Joe Tacopina. Trump had previously told Fox News' Sean Hannity: "I say sometimes to a lawyer, ‘Are you sure you want to represent me? I think you’re making a mistake. What do you need it for?'"
At this time, criminal charges brought against Trump, about 30 counts related to document fraud, are unknown and not made public as the indictment was under seal. They result from a probe into the 2016 hush money case investigated by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to two women, one being the American porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump denied any wrongdoing.
Trump's lawyer Joe Tacopina has noted that if the Manhattan District Attorney's Office provides the former president's legal team with a copy of the indictment they will take time to review it. This will be done as Trump appears in the courtroom.
"A back room off of the courtroom can be made available if such a request is made," a senior security official was quoted as saying by NBC News. The hearing will be done in presence of the security sweep. Let's know more about Trump's lawyers.
Todd Blanche is Trump's newly hired white-collar defence attorney who will hear the case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against the Republican leader. Blanche will be “additional firepower” for Trump’s team in the legal battle, according to Fox News.
In the past, Blanche represented Paul Manafort, former head of Trump’s campaign who was charged in a case related to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in 2019. He had pleaded guilty to foreign lobbying, witness tampering, tax fraud, and conspiracy among other charges.
Blanche was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft law firm and has been a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York for nearly nine years. He specializes in “white-collar crimes”. He will be alongside Trump’s other defence lawyer Joe Tacopina during his trial.
Todd Blanche. Credit: AP
More often seen on American TV talk shows Tacopina, who is of Italian descent, is known for representing high-stakes civil, criminal, and commercial litigation. In the past, he has represented rapper Meek Mill, former Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez, and Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. On the career front, he started as a prosecutor in Brooklyn. Later, he moved into private practice and established his own law firm.
Joe Tacopina. Credit: AP
Susan Necheles. Credit: AP
Susan Necheles, meanwhile, represented Genovese crime family underboss, Venero ‘Benny Eggs’ Mangano, according to reports. She also handled Trump Organization's criminal trial in 2022. Trump's firm was convicted of a scheme to defraud tax authorities.