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Trump pleads not guilty after being indicted on 34 felony

Trump pleads not guilty after being indicted on 34 felony

Posted April. 06, 2023 08:07,   

Updated April. 06, 2023 08:07


Donald Trump, who became the first former American president to face criminal charges, appeared at Manhattan Criminal Courthouse in New York on Tuesday. Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to his alleged hush money payments charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

Trump arrived at the Manhattan criminal court, accompanied by NYPD officers and Secret Service agents. He did not have a mugshot taken and was only fingerprinted without handcuffs and walked into the courtroom for the arraignment. An arraignment is a procedure where the accused is brought before the court to be shown indictment and plead to the criminal charge against him.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, all related to hush money payments to former adult film actor Stormy Daniels, ex-Playboy model Karan McDougal, and a Trump Tower doorman who alleged the former president had a child out of wedlock but disguised as legal expenses, during the 2016 election. All 34 charges relate to falsification of business records, a crime that, standing alone, is a misdemeanor but, when combined with an intent to cover up crimes related to a violation of election laws, becomes a felony crime in New York City.

“Under New York election law, it is a felony to falsify business records to conspire to promote a candidacy by unlawful means,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the first prosecutor to bring charges against a former president, said in a news conference. “We today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure everyone stands equal before the law. No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring American principle.”

After being charged, the former president flew back to his home at the Mar-a-Lago club and proclaimed in a speech that he is being unjustly persecuted by the New York prosecution, which intends to interfere in the 2024 election, and that the prosecutor should immediately drop the case, in an attempt to bolster his loyal supporters.

Hyoun-Soo Kim kimhs@donga.com