Donald Trump has marked history by becoming the first United States President to face criminal charges and be arrested as he pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in Manhattan Court on April 4. In his first public remarks after arraignment on April 5, former U.S. President Donald Trump condemned the criminal charges he faced. After he returned from his arraignment in New York Court, Trump went to his Mar-a-Lago property in Florida, where a swarm of MAGA supporters welcomed him.
TRUMP’S LATEST REMARKS
Simmering with anger and defiance, Donald Trump went on to dismiss all the legal troubles he’s facing at the moment as he said in his opening remarks, “I never thought anything like this could happen in America. Never thought it could happen.” The Republican leader who had announced his bid to run for the 2024 U.S Presidential election repeatedly claimed that the prosecution is meant to derail his candidacy. He said, “This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election. And it should be dropped immediately.”
Towards the end of his remarks, Trump returned to criticizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the charges leveled against him. The former U.S. President said, “He knew there was no case. That’s why last week he delayed for a month and then immediately took that back and threw this ridiculous indictment together.” The remarks were made by Trump even after the judges warned him during the April 4 arraignment not to make comments that could “jeopardize the rule of law” or create civil unrest.
WHAT DOES THE ARRAIGNMENT CONTAIN?
34 felony criminal charges of falsifying business records levied against Donald Trump are related to the same nexus of facts. These centER around hush money payments to suppress negative news stories ahead of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. According to the charging documents, 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.”
The indictment says for all 34 counts that Trump had the “intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof.” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said that Trump made false records in his family real estate company’s books to conceal an amount of $130,000. He is being accused of using this money to reimburse his lawyer Michael Cohen for a hush payment to a woman who says she had an affair with him.
At the heart of the former U.S. President Donald Trump’s indictment, Stormy Daniels was this woman who claimed to have had an affair with Trump in 2006. She sued Trump after he tweeted on April 18, 2018, dismissing the allegation by Daniels and calling it a “total con job.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals later dismissed the case, and the First Amendment protected Donald Trump’s statement.
Daniels was then ordered to pay Trump’s legal $293,000 fees. She lost after she appealed and argued the legal fees were too high, after which she was surprisingly ordered to pay another $245,000 in fees after losing that appeal. On April 4, Trump’s lawyer Harmeet Dhillon announced, “Collectively, our firm obtained over $600,000 in attorney fee awards in his favor in the meritless litigation initiated by Stormy Daniels.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The next scheduled playout in the courtroom is in December of this year when Trump would be expected to attend an in-person hearing. Remember, Trump would be appearing in court as a criminal defendant just weeks before the U.S.’s primary elections, determining who will become the next Presidential candidate. Shockingly enough, Trump’s ratings have risen after it was announced that he was to face criminal charges.
However, the endless legal hurdles are expected to trouble the ex-President. Experts believe Trump could be charged in the State of Georgia after allegations surfaced of him trying to interfere with the results of the 2020 presidential elections. A Washington, DC, special counsel investigated his role in the January 6, 2021 Capitol Riots after hundreds of declassified documents were found at his Florida home.