Former President Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 34 felony counts of falsification of business records, charges stemming from the alleged cover-up of a hush money payment made in the days before the 2016 election.
Manhattan Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg told reporters in a news conference after Trump’s arraignment that the indictment centers on “34 false statements made to cover up other crimes.”
“These are felony crimes in New York state, no matter who you are. We cannot and will not normalize serious criminal conduct,” he said.
Trump became the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges when he was indicted last week by the Manhattan grand jury after an investigation that initially focused on a $130,000 payment made by his former attorney Michael D. Cohen to adult film actor Stormy Daniels. The money was allegedly paid to prevent Daniels from publicly disclosing during Trump’s campaign for president that she had an affair with him.