NEW: Historic Photo Of Trump Released From ‘Hush Money’ Trial

President Donald Trump walked into a New York courtroom on Monday as a man amid a battle for survival who isn’t letting the fear of prison time steal an ounce of his grit.

Reuters released the first shot of Trump in Manhattan District Court, seated on the right hand side at the defendant’s table and looking directly into the camera with a trademark stare that has come to define his determination in the minds of his supporters.

The start of the trial came as the former president’s legal team attempted to delay the start for a third time, a motion that was shot down by Judge Juan Merchan. The setback didn’t phase President Trump, who released a campaign-style video on X Monday morning that shows scattered shots of his plane landing and his motorcade shuttling him to court. In brief remarks from a previous speech, the Republican characterizes his courtroom brawls as a fight for the freedom of his MAGA base.

“They will try to take away my freedom because I will never let them take away your freedoms,” Trump tells a thunderous crowd. “They will try to silence me because I will never let them silence you. They want you silent, and I’m the only one who can save this nation because you know they’re not coming after me, they’re coming after you.”


“When I walk into that courtroom, I know I will have the love of 200 million Americans behind me, and I will be FIGHTING for the FREEDOM of 325 MILLION AMERICANS!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.

Despite laboring under a gag order, President Trump and his surrogates have successfully used Judge Merchan and his daughter, a Democratic strategist, as foils to raise record sums to support his criminal defenses. A fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago last week brought in $50 million, or twice the sum that a star-studded Biden fundraiser featuring former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton did the week prior.

Since supporting a leadership change at the Republican National Committee, President Trump has seen his daughter-in-law Lara Trump succeed where former chair Ronna McDaniel failed, breaking monthly fundraising records as Trump supporters began sending their donations back to the GOP. The former president will need the help, given his estimated $100 million in legal bills paid last year.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has charged Trump with concealing a hush money payment to an adult film star using obfuscated business records, a charge which the Democratic prosecutor upgraded to a felony last year. Trump and his allies have made a point of noting that Bragg, a progressive, has made a habit out of downgrading felonies for other crimes, even violent ones, during his tenure.

“It’s politically driven…If your last name is Trump, the standard of justice is completely different,” concurred Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett. Calling out Bragg’s “tangled, torturous prosecution,” Jarrett added that the case is “punitive, politically driven… magically inflating it into 34 felonies.”