The reason Trump committed the crime of falsifying business records was in part to “promote his candidacy,”
Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records in Manhattan criminal court Tuesday afternoon.
Prosecutors alleged in court documents that the former president sought to undermine the integrity of the 2016 election.
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, prosecutors alleged.
The reason Trump committed the crime of falsifying business records was in part to “promote his candidacy,” prosecutors said.
The indictment returned last week by a grand jury against Trump was unsealed Tuesday and provided 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.
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. The next in-person hearing date for Trump’s case in New York is currently set for December 4.
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, were allowed to take pictures of Trump and the courtroom before the hearing begins.
It remains to be seen whether Trump will speak in New York. Chris Kise, one of Trump’s lawyers, said he expects the former president to speak to the cameras in the hallway outside of the courtroom before and after his arraignment, and multiple people familiar with Trump’s thinking tell CNN that he has weighed saying something while still in Manhattan. Advisers have warned him, however, that any unplanned remarks put him at high risk of hurting his case.