Trump Hush Money Trial


I went to NY to see the scenes around the courthouse on May 20th and 21st while the Trump hush money trial was concluding.

The news media vans were set up on Lafayette Street, across the park from the courthouse.

The public was allowed to be in Collect Pond Park, which was across the street from the front of the courthouse. While there were a number of police guarding the entrance, it wasn’t a big force.

In Collect Pond Park, a small group of Trump supporters had flags and banners.

Motorcade

On the 20th, I waited to see Trump’s motorcade exit from the rear of the courthouse (his remarks each day at the beginning and end of the day were made from this back entrance, which was blocked off and guarded by police.)

From what the Trump supporters told me, they came each day of the trial to stand by the exit to watch Trump’s motorcade go by. On May 20th, about 40 supporters were there, on Worth Street just across from Baxter, which is where the motorcade exits from the back entrance of the courthouse.

Trump is behind the window in this car, but can’t be seen through the reflective glass. The street is not wide, so that his motorcade passes very close to his supporters standing on the sidewalk.

Trial testimony concludes

On May 21st, the defense rested. Right after that, his affiliates spoke to the press. The public was still allowed in Collect Pond Park, but couldn’t go into the press area.

In this photo, Don Junior is speaking to reporters.

Trump affiliates spoke to reporters throughout the press area.

Representative Dan Meuser was one of Trump’s affiliates who came to the trial that day.

Representative Maria Salazar attended the trial that day in support of Trump, and later was speaking to Telemundo outside the courthouse.

Press outlets were broadcasting from up and down the sidewalk.

Andrea Mitchell
Lawrence O’Donnell

While all the news outlets were broadcasting, the public was still allowed in Collect Pond Park. The press and Trump affiliates were on the street and sidewalk in front of the courthouse, and there was a fence between them and the park, and another fence a bit further in to the park, so there was a gap of maybe 15 or so feet between the nearest the public and the press could be.

Press photographers came up to their side of the fence to capture photos of the Trump supporters in the park.

There were about 15 Trump supporters in the park shortly after the defense rested. Within an hour, as the news spread about the testimony concluding, the total grew to about 40 Trump supporters and 5 anti-Trump demonstrators.

Confrontations

The scene in the park was calm, with most of the confrontations involving name-calling between Trump supporters and the few anti-Trump demonstrators, which mainly seemed to be occurring to get some content for social media and other news outlets.

There was one confrontation where two men were getting close to and following another man:

The police, who had not previously been in the park, must have been close enough to suspect that this confrontation might have the risk of getting more serious, so a team of six police entered the park and one of them told the two Trump supporters to stop confronting the other man.

A few minutes later, the police exited the park. The only other confrontation I saw after that was when poet Italo Zamboni (aka Andrew Castrucci of Bullet Space) started reading a manifesto and was surrounded by a few Trump supporters.


Overall, it was a lot calmer than I expected. The police presence was careful but not overwhelming. The most surprising thing to me was how few of the public were there – a very small contingent of Trump supporters and even fewer Trump protestors – in a place which is easy to reach in a city of many millions. The difference between how things look in the media where they are trying to get content for a video clip or a story, and the way the whole scene felt somewhat lame was very interesting – it was great to be able to see things both ways.


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