Trump pleads 'not guilty' over pre-election hush-money cases

Trump pleads 'not guilty' over pre-election hush-money cases
2 min read
Former President Donald Trump's high-profile court appearance comes after weeks of speculation.
Donald Trump has been charged by the New York court [Getty]

Former US President Donald Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records stemming from three pre-election hush-money cases, prosecutors said Tuesday.

"Donald J. Trump repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.

Bragg said Trump arranged for the payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence about an alleged 2006 sexual encounter.

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A payment of $30,000 was made through an intermediary to a former Trump Tower doorman who was claiming that Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock, Bragg said.

The final case involved a woman who received $150,000 from a US tabloid in exchange for not speaking about a sexual relationship she allegedly had with Trump.

Trump had earlier pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts inside a packed New York courtroom ahead of a trial that could begin as soon as January, as he became the first US president to be arrested on criminal charges.

After a stern glare to waiting press, Trump spent about an hour inside a Manhattan courtroom as he voluntarily surrendered over allegations involving hush money payments that have already upended the 2024 White House race in which he is leading the Republican field.

"Not guilty," Trump said in a clear voice inside the courtroom, where he sat with his shoulders up to his ears, at times looking annoyed but mostly listening cooperatively.