As expected, the main cable news networks have been running non-stop special coverage of former President Donald Trump’s arrest and arraignment hearing on Tuesday. Broadcast news divisions broke into regularly scheduled network programming with special reports as well.
While TV cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, they were able to capture Trump walking in at 2:28 p.m. ET to appear before Judge Juan Merchan and hear the indictment against him.
As Trump was captured walking in, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was heard off camera shouting a question in the former president’s direction, asking him simply, “Will you come speak to us?”
Trump in fact did not come and speak to the press assembled in the hallway, neither before nor after the nearly hour-long arraignment process.
We found out later that he had been charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records.
Happening Now: Donald Trump — the first former president in history to face criminal charges — has entered a New York courtroom to be arraigned and is expected to plead not guilty https://t.co/Xx3h8zWVB8 pic.twitter.com/GPWgFV80rp
— CNN (@CNN) April 4, 2023
After Trump entered the court room, Anderson Cooper came back on air for CNN and said, “Former President Trump entering the courthouse to hear the indictments read against him. An extraordinary moment in history.”
Over on Fox News, anchor John Roberts was on the air when Trump entered the room. Anchor Martha MacCallum observed that the former president looked “somber” as he walked in, and she was surprised that he didn’t stop to speak to the press at all.
“I think the weight of this moment appeared to be on the former president in a very significant way as we just saw him walk through that hallway, John,” said MacCallum.
Here’s Lester Holt on-air for NBC News when Trump entered the room:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 4, 2023
David Muir setting the scene on ABC News:” There it is. About five seconds, but five seconds of history. The first time we have ever seen a president, former or current, criminally charged. We know he has already been booked. He is a criminal defendant entering a courtroom in lower Manhattan.”
— ABC News (@ABC) April 4, 2023
Norah O’Donnell was on the air for the CBS’ special report, remarking after Trump entered the room that it was a “sober looking President Trump.” O’Donnell, like others on TV news, expressed surprise that the ex commander in chief didn’t address the press before entering.
CBS’ Scott MacFarlane witnessed Trump in the courtroom: “…he walked in slowly, and once he sat down… he just sat with his hands in his lap, kind of hunched over at this old wooden defense table… it’s a very humble courtroom, and he is sitting with his shoulders slumped, and his hands in his lap.”
MacFarlane added: “He answered immediately in a voice that was noticeably louder than the attorneys who were speaking today, and said simply ‘not guilty.’ No adjectives before it, nothing after it, just ‘not guilty.’
Cameras capture the moment former President Donald Trump walks to the courtroom to appear before Judge Juan Merchan for the first time. pic.twitter.com/PrppjJIXPV
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 4, 2023
Katy Tur, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Jansing were on air for MSNBC. Tur was speaking right before Trump entered.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 4, 2023
Trump left the Manhattan criminal courthouse just after 3:25 p.m. ET, hopped in a motorcade bound for LaGuardia Airport, where he hopped on his plane and is now traveling back to Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
Here he is exiting the building:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 4, 2023