Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Trump pleads not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records

Former US president Donald Trump appears in court at the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on April 4, 2023. - Former US president Donald Trump arrived for a historic court appearance in New York on Tuesday, facing criminal charges that threaten to upend the 2024 White House race. (Photo by Seth WENIG / POOL / AFP)

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Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records in Manhattan criminal court Tuesday afternoon.

The indictment against Trump alleges that the former president sought to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election.

Prosecutors alleged Trump was part of an unlawful plan to suppress negative information, including an illegal payment of $130,000 that was ordered by the defendant to suppress the negative information that would hurt his campaign.

The reason Trump committed the crime of falsifying business records was in part to “promote his candidacy,” the indictment alleges.

The former president’s voice was measured in the courtroom. He walked in slowly scanning the reporters in the courtroom and looked at the judge when he was speaking.

Trump had arrived at the Manhattan district attorney’s office earlier Tuesday afternoon, where he was placed under arrest and in police custody before the arraignment.

The arraignment in the Manhattan courtroom Tuesday represented a surreal and historic moment in US history.

A judge said Monday night that news outlets were not allowed to broadcast the proceedings, rejecting a request from several media organizations, including CNN. Five still photographers, however, will be allowed to take pictures of Trump and the courtroom before the hearing begins.

The indictment returned last week by a grand jury against Trump will provide the public — and Trump’s legal team — with the first details about the specific charges he will face. The investigation stemmed from a hush money payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

-CNN

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