Donald Trump pleads not guilty to 34 criminal charges. Here’s all you need to know
Becoming the first US president in history to face a criminal trial, Donald Trump was arrested and charged with 34 felony counts of fraud in a Manhattan court on Tuesday.
The charges stem from a $130,000 payment made to buy the silence of Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress who says she had sex with him back in 2006.
Here’s all you need to know about Trump’s historic court appearance.
What is the latest news?
On Tuesday, the former president appeared before Judge Juan Merchan, sitting majorly silent in the roughly hour-long proceedings and only speaking out loud in certain instances like responding to the judge’s questions.
He was arrested and charged with 34 felony counts related to business fraud. The charges come in association with a hush money payment, with the wire transfer coming just 12 days before the 2016 election that Trump eventually won.
He was released by the court and immediately returned to his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, where he delivered brief statements on the case in the ballroom of the resort in the evening. “The only crime I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”
What accusations does Trump face?
In relation to the alleged affair from 2006, Daniels tried to sell her account of what happened to the media in 2016. At the time, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen paid her $130,000 to buy her silence.
Although hush money is not illegal, Trump is accused of falsifying his business records by saying the payment was for legal fees. Prosecutors also pointed to other payments they say were made to avoid potentially politically damaging stories from coming under the limelight.
Can Trump still continue his election campaign?
Despite facing criminal charges, Trump can still continue his election campaign. Moreover, even if he was imprisoned, he still could run for president and win the election, theoretically. But there are a few practical considerations, such as the impact a legal fight could have on election rallies.
Will Trump go to prison if found guilty?
The former president is expected to face the next in-person court hearing on December 4 in New York. Although there is a chance he could be imprisoned, the most likely outcome at the end of this legal fight is fine.