Trump 'shocked' by indictment but 'ready to fight'

Trump 'shocked' by indictment but 'ready to fight'
A New York grand jury on Thursday indicted Donald Trump over hush money payments made to a porn star during his 2016 campaign, making him the first former US president to face criminal charges.
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Trump is highly unlikely to accept a plea deal and is set to fight all charges [Getty images]

Donald Trump's legal team went on the offensive on Friday following his historic indictment, vowing the former president would never seek a plea deal and was ready "to fight" all charges.

The 76-year-old Trump, who is hoping to recapture the White House in 2024, chimed in with attacks on the prosecutors who brought the charges against him and even the judge expected to hear the case.

"ELECTION INTERFERENCE, KANGAROO COURT!" Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social, adding that Juan Manuel Marchal, the judge who may preside over an eventual trial, "hates me."

Trump is to be booked, fingerprinted and will have a mugshot taken at a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday afternoon before appearing before a judge as the first ever American president to face criminal charges.

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"The president will not be put in handcuffs," said Joe Tacopina, one of Trump's attorneys, adding that he does not believe prosecutors will "allow this to become a circus."

There is "zero" chance Trump would accept a plea deal, he told NBC's Today show. "It's not going to happen. There's no crime."

Trump, who is currently at his palatial Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, was initially "shocked" at the indictment, his attorney said, but "he's now in the posture that he's ready to fight this."

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Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, said the indictment had "irreparably damaged" the country.

Trump's former vice president and possible 2024 challenger Mike Pence called it an "outrage" that would only "further serve to divide" the United States.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, another likely 2024 Republican rival, slammed the indictment as "un-American."

On the Democratic side, former House speaker Nancy Pelosi said "no one is above the law" and Representative Adam Schiff -- lead prosecutor of Trump's first impeachment -- called it "sobering."

"The indictment and arrest of a former president is unique throughout all of American history," Schiff said. "But so too is the unlawful conduct for which Trump has been charged."