April 4, 2023 at 3:01 pm
For the first time ever, a former US president has been charged with a crime.
Former President Donald Trump appeared in a New York City courthouse on Tuesday afternoon to be processed and arraigned on 34 counts of first-degree falsification of business records. The indictment was sealed but made public. The charges were brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Television cameras and radio microphones were not allowed in the courtroom during the arraignment, but several photographers were allowed to take pictures of Trump before the proceedings began. Outside the courtroom, hundreds of protesters from both sides of the issue gathered, along with heavy media, police and U.S. Secret Service agents.
abc news The charges reportedly relate to so-called hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Trump, who is married, allegedly had sex with Daniels.
While any payments themselves would be legal, Trump has been accused of falsifying records to cover up the scheme.
Trump has repeatedly denied any extramarital affairs and has denied covering up any payments. He publicly accused the prosecutor’s office of fabricating charges for political purposes.
The former president, who served from 2017 to 2021, is also the first U.S. chief executive to be impeached twice. The first was denying aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the business dealings of the son of current President Joe Biden. Trump is preparing for a possible re-election bid against Biden, who ultimately won the 2020 election.
The second impeachment came after the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol, in which Trump was accused of inciting violence that left several dead and disrupted the certification of Biden’s electoral victory. In both cases, the U.S. Senate acquitted Trump.