Donald Trump: Ex-president pleads not guilty to 34 felony charges after being arrested at New York courthouse
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Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. It comes after the former US president was formally arrested as he arrived at a New York courthouse to face charges relating to a hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Trump, who was frontrunner for the Republicans’ choice for the White House in 2024, is the first former US president to face criminal charges. The 76-year-old was arrested after surrendering to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, which is also located in Manhattan Criminal Courthouse.
He was seen pumping his fist as he left his home in Trump Tower with a team of attorneys in tow before being escorted to the courthouse in a motorcade. According to the Independent, Trump will not be handcuffed or put in a jail cell and he will not have his mugshot taken.
On his social media platform, Truth Social, Trump wrote: "Heading to Lower Manhattan, the Courthouse. Seems so SURREAL - WOW, they are going to ARREST ME. Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA!"
Hundreds of Trump’s supporters gathered at a park across from the courthouse. They were joined by representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a right-wing Republican from Georgia who slammed the Democratic party as “communists” and “failures”.
Trump is being investigated over an alleged $130,000 (£104,000) hush money payment given to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. It was allegedly made to prevent Ms Daniels from discussing a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump at a hotel in Lake Tahoe in 2006.
Trump sat with his hands folded during the hearing and entered a plea of not guilty. He has previously denied having a sexual relationship with Ms Daniels.
A conviction would not prevent Trump from running for or winning the US presidency next year. The former president has previously dubbed the investigation an attempt to weaken his bid to retake the White House in 2024.
Trump is expected to return to his Florida home Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday evening, where he plans to deliver remarks at 20:15 (local time).