Trump’s day in court as criminal defendant: What to know

April 5, 2023  -NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in history, a former U.S. president has appeared in court as a criminal defendant. Donald Trump surrendered to authorities Tuesday after being indicted by a New York grand jury on charges related to hush money payments at the height of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump, a 2024 presidential candidate, pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges in a Manhattan courtroom. He then flew home to Florida and spoke to a crowd of supporters at his home.

Here’s what to know about Trump’s day in court:


Prosecutors unsealed the indictment against the former president Tuesday, giving Trump, his lawyers and the world their first opportunity to see them. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Prosecutors said Trump conspired to undermine the 2016 presidential election by trying to suppress information that could harm his candidacy, and then concealing the true nature of the hush money payments. The payments were made to two women — including a porn actor — who claimed they had sexual encounters with him years earlier, and to a doorman at Trump Tower who claimed to have a story about a child Trump fathered out of wedlock, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

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