Former US President Donald Trump served his first arraignment earlier on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to as many as 34 charges levied on him in the ongoing hush-money scandal. With bated breath, the world watched as the former United States President, Donald Trump, descended from his black limousine in the heart of New York City. The air crackled with anticipation as he strode towards the imposing central Manhattan courthouse, a building that had witnessed its fair share of legal dramas over the years.
Cameras flashed, capturing the moment for posterity as Trump, a man once known for his bravado and bluster, now faced a starkly different reality. Trump ultimately became the first former president in the nation’s history to be criminally prosecuted.
On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump entered a plea of not guilty in Manhattan criminal court in response to 34 felony charges related to allegations of falsifying business records. These charges are connected to three alleged hush-money payments, including one made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Former President Trump’s arraignment on Tuesday, where the indictment against him was unsealed, marks the start of the “discovery” phase. During this phase, prosecutors provide the defense team access to the evidence collected against Trump. The next hearing is scheduled for December 4.
The Facts of the Matter
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, has often been described as controversy’s favorite child. Throughout his political career and beyond, Trump has consistently found himself at the center of numerous controversies, stirring up public attention and debate like few other figures in recent memory.
Recently, the 76-year-old business magnate and former US President took to the Manhattan courthouse, to serve his first arraignment, where he pleaded guilty in the hush-money scandal.
What Is the Donald Trump Hush-Money Scandal?
According to The Wall Street Journal, it has been reported that in October 2016, former President Trump arranged a payment of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she claimed to have had with Trump in 2006.
In May 2018, Trump acknowledged reimbursing his then-lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment in an ethics disclosure. In December 2018, Trump referred to the hush money payments as a “simple private transaction” in a tweet, and in an interview with Reuters, he stated that the payment to Daniels was not a campaign contribution and that there was no violation in what was done.
34 Charges Pressed Against Donald Trump
Former President Trump has been charged with 34 counts of felony for allegedly falsifying business records under Article 175 of the New York Penal Law. The indictment includes 34 separate counts under the same statute, each representing a distinct instance of alleged misconduct. It means that these are not 34 different types of crimes.
In the courtroom, the former US President pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges pressed against him.
What Happens Next?
The legal team representing Mr. Trump has boldly declared their intention to mount a vigorous challenge against the charges leveled. One such motion that the Trump team is considering is the formidable “motion to dismiss”. This move would implore the court to cast aside, with swift and decisive judgment, all or part of the case.
Trump Addresses Crowd
In the immediate aftermath, Trump made a fiery address to a fervent crowd of supporters gathered at his opulent Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, on Tuesday night. He resolutely reiterated his steadfast belief that the ongoing investigation against him was nothing but a politically motivated witch hunt.
We have to save our country. I never thought anything like this could happen in America, the only crime that I have committed is, fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it: Former US President Donald Trump on being charged in connection with three… pic.twitter.com/uhkoSWhOLc
— ANI (@ANI) April 5, 2023