Trump charged with 34 felony counts in hush money scheme
A stone-faced Donald Trump made a momentous courtroom appearance Tuesday when he was confronted with a 34-count felony indictment charging him in a scheme to bury allegations of extramarital affairs that arose during his first White House campaign, according to a report from the Associated Press.
The arraignment in a Manhattan courtroom was a stunning — and humbling — spectacle for the first ex-president to ever face criminal charges. With Trump watching in silence, prosecutors bluntly accused him of criminal conduct and set the stage for a possible criminal trial in the city where he became a celebrity decades ago.
The indictment centers on allegations that Trump falsified internal business records at his private company while trying to cover up an effort to illegally influence the 2016 election by arranging payments that silenced claims potentially harmful to his candidacy. It includes 34 counts of fudging records related to checks Trump sent to his personal lawyer and problem-solver to reimburse him for his role in paying off a porn actor who said she had an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump years earlier.
Trump, somber and silent as he entered and exited the Manhattan courtroom, said “not guilty” in a firm voice while facing a judge who warned him to refrain from rhetoric that could inflame or cause civil unrest.