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Trump hires new defense attorney on eve of NYC arraignment

Former President Trump on Monday hired white collar defense attorney Todd Blanche to lead his legal team ahead of his arraignment in New York City, Fox News Digital has learned.

Former President Trump on Monday hired white collar defense attorney Todd Blanche to be part of his legal team ahead of his Tuesday arraignment in New York City, Fox News Digital has learned.

Blanche, a former partner at Cawalader, Wickersham & Taft, will serve as a defense attorney in the case brought against the former president by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. Blanche joins Trump defense attorney Joe Tacopina and other lawyers working on the case for Trump.

The source told Fox News Digital that Blanche will be "additional firepower" to the Trump legal team.

Blanche previously represented Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman. Manafort was charged as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in 2019, and pleaded guilty to foreign lobbying and witness tampering, as well as tax fraud and conspiracy.

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Trump’s expected arraignment comes after the former president of the United States, and the leading Republican presidential candidate for 2024, was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury Thursday after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

The former president traveled from Palm Beach, Fla. to New York City Monday ahead of his arraignment Tuesday. Trump is expected to arrive at the courthouse in lower Manhattan at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, and is expected to be arraigned at 2:15p.m.

Sources familiar told Fox News that Trump will not be in handcuffed when he surrenders. It is unclear if the former president will take a mug shot.

The charges Trump is facing are still unclear, as the indictment remains under seal until the arraignment.

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The indictment comes after Bragg had been investigating Trump for hush money payments made leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

These include the $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and the $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Those payments had been investigated by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York and by the Federal Election Commission.

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Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Daniels payment in 2019. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.

The investigation into Trump was opened in 2019 by then-Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The probe was focused on possible bank, insurance and tax fraud. The case initially involved financial dealings of Trump’s Manhattan properties, including his flagship Fifth Avenue building, Trump Tower, and the valuation of his 213-acre estate Seven Springs in Westchester.

Last year, the investigation led to tax fraud charges against The Trump Organization and its finance chief Allen Weisselberg.

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