Donald Trump is preparing to be arrested Tuesday and experience what no other former U.S. president has ever experienced: being fingerprinted and mugshotted. But he, true to himself, will “fight” the charges on his way to the 2024 presidential election.

Trump will not be handcuffed when he turns himself in next week in New York to face criminal charges, one of his defense lawyers, Joe Tacopina, said Friday.

Sisan Necheles, another of Trump’s lawyers, assured that the Republican will plead not guilty. There is “zero” chance he will accept a plea deal, Tacopina said. “That’s not going to happen. There’s no crime.”

The indictment Thursday left Trump “shocked,” his lawyer said, but he is now “ready to fight.”

A New York grand jury indicted Trump on criminal charges over a $130,000 cash payment to a porn actress to buy her silence during the 2016 presidential campaign. The exact charges remain secret.

The former president denies breaking the law and accuses the Manhattan district attorney who brought the charges, Democrat Alvin Bragg, of waging a “political witch hunt.”

Tacopina said that while Trump is not expected to be handcuffed, he is likely to be fingerprinted and undergo other routine protocols when he goes to court Tuesday to face charges.

“I don’t know how this is all going to play out,” Tacopina said in an interview. “There’s no textbook for how a former president of the United States is charged in a criminal court.”

The goal, he said, is to prevent the Republican Party from nominating him as a candidate for the White House at a time when he is the clear front-runner even though he seems to have lost the mobilizing power and luster of yesteryear.

Trump himself predicted his indictment days ago and called for protests warning that they could lead to “death and potential destruction” in the country.

For the time being, security has been beefed up at the midtown Manhattan courthouse where Trump is expected to be arraigned.

“They only brought this bogus, corrupt and shameful charge against me because I support the American people and they know I can’t get a fair trial in New York!” wrote Trump on his social media platform Truth Social.

Trump knows he is a born political survivor. He has weathered two political trials while in the White House and seems to dodge other cases in which he is involved, such as the attack on Congress by a mob of supporters in January 2021, the disappearance of White House files or the alleged pressures on a Georgia state official during the 2020 election.

Of the tangle of cases that haunts him it was finally the sex scandal with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, 44, that ended up taking its toll on him.

His party, over which he has never ceased to have influence, seems to be in solidarity with him.

Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House of Representatives, said the indictment has “irreparably damaged” the country and his former vice-president and possible challenger for 2024, Mike Pence, called it an “outrage” that “will further divide” the United States.

It is “un-American,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another possible rival.

The president of the country, Democrat Joe Biden, who defeated him at the polls in 2020, opted for caution: “I have no comment on Trump,” he said. But former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reminded that “no one is above the law.”

With information from AFP and Reuters.

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