In his involvement in hush money in the New York investigation, former president Donald Trump has promised of being not involved in several charges.
Ex-president Donald Trump appealed not guilty on Tuesday to 34 criminal allegations associated with his alleged role in to avoid payments to two women while the 2016 election.
After handing himself into authorities, Trump, the first former president to be charged, entered his plea in a Manhattan courtroom. The 34 charges against him are for “falsifying company documents,” a criminal offense punishable by up to four years in prison. In non-violent instances, judges often impose probation for first-time offenders.
As he begins a fresh campaign for the White House in 2024, Trump and his crew will engage in a frantic legal struggle to stop the case when the allegations are made public. The prosecution proposed a January 2024 trial date, while Trump’s lawyer offered a Spring 2024 trial date as being fairer.
Before entering the courtroom, Trump walked through the packed courthouse halls with a stone-faced expression while being guarded by a sizable Police and Secret Service presence. With lawyers Todd Blanche, Susan Necheles, Joe Tacopina, and Boris Epshteyn, he sat at a table in the courtroom. Alvin Bragg, the district attorney for Manhattan, was also present for the proceedings. Trump submitted the guilty plea on his behalf and stayed somber the whole time, his eyes fixed straight ahead.
It’s the first time a former president has ever been charged with a crime, but it could not be the last: Around Trump, there are at least three other criminal investigations. A special counsel in Washington, D.C., is looking into Trump’s role in trying to thwart the transfer of presidential power as well as his handling of national security secrets after leaving office. In Fulton County, Georgia, a district attorney is looking into Trump’s attempt to tamper with that state’s election results in 2020.
During the hearings on Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Chris Conroy presented the evidence against Trump and the hush money scheme as an “illegal effort to discover and conceal unfavorable material… to avert unwanted attention to his campaign.” Conroy also brought the judge’s attention to previous “threatening” posts made by Trump on social media, such as the one when he posted a news story with an image of himself wielding a bat next to one of Bragg.
When Conroy explained these tweets, Trump cast a downward glance toward the table.
Despite the anticipatory protests of some of Trump’s friends, Conroy did not request a gag order, and the presiding judge, Juan Merchan, made it clear that he would not impose one at this time.
Trump has criticized the hush money investigation and accused Bragg of being politically motivated. And he has attempted to use the indictment as gasoline for his campaign’s financial engines.
The accusations stem from a thorough investigation that Cyrus Vance Jr., Bragg’s predecessor, launched several years ago into Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, who admitted to having arranged hush money payments to two women who claimed they had had relationships with Trump in the past: porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Although originally denying any wrongdoing, Cohen admitted that the unreported payments were contributions to Trump’s campaign since they were meant to support his election when he pleaded guilty to two federal campaign finance counts in 2018.Cohen had been found responsible of tax and fraud criminal acts and given a sentence to three years of imprisonment.
. Cohen said that Trump instructed him to pay the hush money and then compensated him via the Trump Organization during his presidency in a series of payments that were misrepresented as legal fees.
Despite Justice Department precedent prohibiting charges against a president in office, no federal charges were ever brought against Trump until he left office in January 2021. For more details.
Vance’s original inquiry into Trump’s involvement in the hush money scam seemed to fizzle out in favor of a more high-profile probe into widespread tax and insurance fraud in Trump’s commercial empire, which also stemmed from allegations made by Cohen. The Trump Organization was found guilty as a result of that probe in 2021, and Allen Weisselberg, the organization’s longstanding chief financial officer, entered a guilty plea and is presently serving a five-month jail term.
Top tax fraud prosecutors quit after Bragg assumed office in 2021, citing Bragg’s refusal to charge Trump personally in the investigation. But finally, the district attorney’s office rekindled its long-dormant interest in the hush money investigation.
The Georgia investigation, both federal special counsel inspections, and the New York case were seemed to have a greater possibility of resulting in charges over Trump than the New York case up until this past week.
It’s unclear what specifically piqued prosecutors’ interest in that case again.
Trump and his friends have claimed that the action was taken in reaction to political pressure placed on Bragg as a consequence of his judgment about the larger case and the resignation that followed of Mark Pomerantz, the renowned main prosecutor in that case.
Trump’s assaults follow a well-worn script, relying on strong friends in Congress, supportive voices in the conservative media, and a social media platform to attempt to seize control of the national conversation. He has contended that despite prosecutors’ and even Bragg’s long-appearing reluctance to file an indictment, the case Bragg mounted was abandoned and was only saved by a Covid-extended statute of limitations.
Police had closed off streets leading to the main entrance outside the district attorney’s office on Tuesday as helicopters circled above. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and George Santos made appearances as rival anti- and pro-Trump protest groups set up camp in a park across the street from the courthouse. This is close to where hordes of reporters and interested onlookers had camped out on the street the night before to compete for access to Tuesday afternoon’s arraignment.
Trump, who resides in Florida, took a flight to Manhattan on Monday and spent the night in his Trump Tower penthouse before being taken to court on Tuesday afternoon in a motorcade while being trailed above by television helicopters