Trump pleads not guilty to 34 charges; admonished by judge

donald trump Prosecutors said Tuesday that the conspiracy was to illegally influence the 2016 election through a series of hush payments designed to kill claims that could be harmful to his candidacy. 34 felony indictment against the former president.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Conroy said the payments were “part of an illegal scheme to identify and suppress negative information that could undermine his bid for the presidency.”

Trump, deadpan and wordless as he entered and exited the Manhattan courtroom, said “not guilty” firmly in front of a judge who warned him against making remarks that could inflame or spark civil unrest.

The next court date is Dec. 4, but it is unclear whether he will be called to appear.

The broad outlines of the case have long been known, but the indictment includes new details of a scheme that prosecutors say involved paying two women, including a porn star, who she said had sex with him years ago had extramarital sex, and a Trump Tower doorman claimed to have a story about what he claimed was a former president’s illegitimate child.

The arraignment, while largely procedural, was a remarkable reckoning for Trump after years of investigations into his personal, business and political dealings. The case unfolds not only against the backdrop of his third bid for the White House, but also amid other investigations in Washington and Atlanta that could yield more charges.

Trump entered the courtroom shortly before 2.30pm, apparently pursing his lips in anger. He left the courtroom about an hour later without comment. All in all, Trump, who has always been long-winded, said only about 10 words throughout.

Ahead of his arraignment, he spoke in real time about his feelings, describing his journey from Trump Tower to face a judge in lower Manhattan as “surreal.”

The day’s schedule, a startling mix of legal and political events, represented Trump’s new split-screen reality as he bowed to the rigors of the US criminal justice system while celebrating an air of defiance and victimization .

Wearing his signature dark suit and red tie, Trump turned and waved to the crowd outside the building before entering the building for fingerprinting and processing. He arrived at the courthouse from Trump Tower in a convoy of eight vehicles, expressing his anger at the process in real time.

“Go to lower Manhattan, courthouse,” he posted on his Truth Social platform. “Looks so surreal – wow, they’re going to arrest me. Can’t believe this is happening in America. Maga!

Later, Trump’s lawyer Todd Branch told reporters that it was “a sad day for the country.”

“You wouldn’t expect this to happen to someone who was president of the United States,” he said.

trump who is was impeached twice Convicted by the U.S. House of Representatives but never in the U.S. Senate, he is the first former president to face criminal charges. The 45th U.S. commander-in-chief was escorted by the Secret Service from Trump Tower to the courthouse.

“He’s strong and ready,” Trump’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, told The Associated Press. Earlier, Tacopina said in a television interview that the former president would not plead guilty to the lesser charges even if the case could be resolved. He also said he didn’t think the case would go to a jury.

New York police said they were prepared to respond to mass protests by Trump supporters, and they, like the Republican former president, believe the New York grand jury indictment and three other pending investigations are politically motivated and aimed at weaken he tried to take back the white house In 2024. Journalists often outnumber protesters, though.

Trump, a former reality TV star, has been touting the claims to gain his political advantage, saying he raised more than $8 million in the days since he was accused of a “witch hunt.”His campaign released a fundraising plea titled “Last Email Before My Arrest,” and he repeatedly attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, egging on supporters to protest, and declaring his case without evidence. next claim judge presiding over the case “Hate me” – what his own lawyer said was not true.

Trump plans to return to his home in Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago, spoke Tuesday night. At least 500 high-profile supporters have been invited, with some of the most pro-Trump congressional Republicans expected to attend.

A conviction would not prevent Trump from running or winning the presidency in 2024.

Investigations are reviewing payments to porn actor stormy daniels and Former Playboy model Karen McDougallBoth said they had sexual encounters with Trump, who was married, in the years before Trump entered politics. Trump has denied having a sexual relationship with either of the women and has denied any wrongdoing involving the payments.

The arraignment took place against a backdrop of high security in New York, more than two years after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol Failure to prevent Congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump was defiant ahead of his arraignment. He used his social media networks to complain that he was going to court in a highly democratic region, declaring “kangaroo courts” and “this is not what America should be!” He and his campaign have repeatedly attacked Prague, There was even intense scrutiny of the family in Prague.

Still, the scenes around Trump Tower and the courthouse where Trump will stand before a judge did not feature major turmoil. Police tried to separate pro-president and anti-him protesters by using metal barricades to confine them to either side of a park near the courthouse.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Ga., one of Trump’s staunchest supporters in Congress, held a brief rally in the park that was chaotic, packed with reporters and protesters , could barely hear her voice.

“We’re the party of peace,” Green said, thanking the Trump supporters who were there. “Democrats are communists.”

The troubled Republican New York representative. george santos He also expressed solidarity with Trump, saying “I want to support the president.”

“I think it’s unprecedented, it’s a bad day for democracy,” Santos said, suggesting that future prosecutors could bring other cases against Biden and other presidents, which “weakens the justice system.”

New York’s ability to conduct safe and drama-free court proceedings in cases involving a polarizing former president could be an important test case as prosecutors in Atlanta and Washington conduct their own investigations into Trump, which could also lead to accused.These investigations involve efforts to undo 2020 Election Results and possible mishandling secret document At Mar-a-Lago.

—Michael R. Sisak, Eric Tucker, Jennifer Peltz and Will Weissert, Associated Press

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