Donald Trump charged with 34 counts of falsifying records

Donald Trump charged with 34 counts of falsifying records

New York (Web Desk/Agencies): Former United States US president Donald Trump faced indictment in a hush-money case after surrendering and remaining under police custody in a court appearance that made headlines across the globe.

Trump becomes the first sitting or former US president to face criminal charges, pleaded not guilty to nearly 3 dozen felony criminal charges of falsifying business records in court. "Not guilty," he said when asked how he pleaded.

During the hearing, the prosecutors alleged that the Republican leader dented the integrity of the 2016 polls through a hush-money scheme by silencing women with funds who claimed to be in extramarital affairs with him, the international media reported.

The 76-year-old appeared in a dark blue suit and waved to fans who flocked outside the courthouse after he was escorted from his New York residence at Trump Tower.

Following the court proceedings, Donald Trump addressed his supporters at his exotic residence, slamming indictment and firing salvo against current President Joe Biden.

The former president denied any wrongdoing, saying his only crime is to fearlessly defend the US from those who seek to destroy it, calling the trial politically motivated. He linked the case with the Democrats’ bid to hamper his candidacy in the 2024 election.

Trump is seen as the frontrunner to be the Republican nominee in the 2024 election, and the indictment is likely to juice turnout among his base, boosting his chances in the party primary.

Last week, the former US president was indicted by grand jury in a case related to payments made to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels.

The Manhattan grand jury convened by district attorney Alvin Bragg that indicted Trump heard evidence about a $130,000 payment made to Daniels in the waning days of the 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels has said she was paid to keep silent about a sexual encounter she had with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006.