During a court hearing in New York, former US President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges.
During the nearly hour-long hearing, the former president was accused of falsifying records to conceal crimes.
Judge Juan Merchan did not issue a gag order, but he did request that both parties be mindful of their language and rhetoric.
Trump, who is running for president in 2024, will be released on bail and will return to Florida later.
What you should know about the charges
According to the court filing, the former president “made and caused a false entry in the business records of an enterprise with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof.”
All of Trump’s charges are Class E felonies. In New York, this is the lowest level of felony offense, with a maximum prison sentence of four years per count.
Falsifying business records is typically charged as a misdemeanor.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office is escalating the charge, alleging that the crime was committed in order to conceal or commit another crime.
Trump remains expressionless in court during his sober hearing: Donald Trump entered the courtroom shortly after 14:30 local time, escorted by several secret service members. His expressionless face was accompanied by heavy, slow steps.
He sat in the first row during the proceedings. It lacked fireworks and was very formal. There was no carnival atmosphere.
The judge presided calmly and evenly, never raising his voice. He addressed Donald Trump politely, calmly, and firmly, ensuring that the former president understood his rights.
Trump sat almost completely silent throughout the proceedings. He only spoke when he was required to, either by pleading not guilty or by responding directly to the judge.
Trump repeatedly falsified business records, according to a prosecutor – Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has released Donald Trump’s 34-count indictment.
He accuses Trump of repeatedly falsifying business records in order to conceal criminal activity. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges leveled against him.
In a statement, Bragg said:
“The People of the State of New York allege that Donald J. Trump falsified New York business records on multiple occasions and fraudulently to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”
The People of the State of New York allege that Donald J. Trump falsified New York business records on multiple occasions and fraudulently to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”
“Manhattan is home to the country’s largest business market.” We cannot allow New York businesses to falsify their records in order to conceal criminal activity.
Manhattan is home to the country’s largest business market. We cannot allow New York businesses to falsify their records in order to conceal criminal activity.
“As described in the Statement of Facts, the trail of money and lies reveals a pattern that, according to the People, violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws.”
The trail of money and lies, as described in the Statement of Facts, exposes a pattern that the People allege violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws.”
No gag order placed on Trump
The judge did not impose a gag order on Donald Trump, but he did warn him that the matter would be revisited if he continued with his heated rhetoric about the case.
A gag order would have prevented Trump, his attorneys, other parties, and witnesses from publicly discussing the case.
It usually occurs when there is a risk that statements will incite violence or be perceived as threatening to prosecutors or witnesses.
If you violate a gag order, you may be found in criminal contempt of court.
Trump’s legal team
Donald Trump’s court appearance has concluded. Here are the members of his defense team who just represented him in Manhattan.
From left to right, they are:
Todd Blanche, a former federal prosecutor, was appointed to lead Trump’s defense in this case on Monday.
Susan Necheles is a well-known litigator who once represented the Genovese crime family underboss Venero “Benny Eggs” Mangano.
Joe Tacopina, an outspoken criminal defense lawyer has promised that any charges brought against the former president will be vigorously fought.
Boris Epshteyn, whose phone was seized by federal agents last year in connection with an investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
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