Trump Stops By Harlem Café After Second Day Of Hush Money Trial

April 17, 2024

Former President Trump visited a bodega in Harlem on Tuesday after a day in court, showcasing his efforts to juggle his roles as a defendant in a criminal case and the presumed Republican nominee for president.

At the café, Trump was met by supporters chanting “four more years.” He used the opportunity to criticize the judge overseeing his hush-money case, condemn Manhattan’s first Black district attorney, Alvin Bragg‘s handling of crime, and express intentions to contest New York State in the upcoming election. Trump asserted, “We’re making a big play for New York. I love this city, but it’s gone downhill in the last few years, and we’re going to turn New York around.”

Trump partially blamed Harvard-educated attorney, Bragg for the crime situation, particularly the hush money case against him. He stated, “There’s no crime. You know where the crime is? In the cafés where they get robbed every week.”

When asked about the seated jurors, Trump responded that it was too early to judge and he was seeking fairness. Regarding the judge’s gag order, Trump argued, “No, I don’t think I violated it. There shouldn’t be a gag order. Let me tell you, it’s totally unconstitutional.”

The bodega visit coincided with the location where Jose Alba, a former clerk, faced murder charges in 2022 after stabbing a man who attacked him over a bag of chips. The charges were later dropped amid claims of self-defense, with Alba subsequently suing the city.

In response to Trump’s criticisms, a spokesperson for Bragg’s office emphasized the significant reductions in crime rates under Bragg’s administration, including declines in shootings, murders, robberies, and burglaries.

Despite Trump’s courtroom commitments, the Harlem visit demonstrates his strategy to attract media attention and convey his message throughout the trial. Trump and his campaign are anticipated to continue targeting Bragg over the hush money case.

In addition to public appearances like the Harlem visit, Trump plans to engage in virtual and in-person events during weekends and days off. He is slated to hold a rally in North Carolina on Saturday.

“They want to keep me off the campaign trail. But based on what I’m doing, I think there’s more press here than there is if I went out to some nice location,” Trump remarked on Tuesday.

In his ongoing legal battle, Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records related to reimbursements to Michael Cohen, his former fixer, who paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election. Trump maintains his innocence and described the payments as “legal expenses.”

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