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Former President Donald Trump charged with 34 counts during arrest – details

He is the first former president to ever face criminal charges


Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower in Manhattan on April 3, 2023 in New York City© Getty
Beatriz Colon
Beatriz Colon - New York
New York WriterNew York
April 4, 2023
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Former United States President Donald Trump has been arrested and was read the 34 counts he is being charged with during his arraignment in downtown New York City Tuesday afternoon, a first for any U.S. president.

Trump – who has been impeached twice and plans to run for president again after losing to President Joe Biden in 2020 – was first indicted in late March by a Manhattan grand jury after an investigation led by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg.

The investigation largely focused on his involvement in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels, through several reimbursements amounting to $130,000 to his former attorney Michael Cohen. While unrelated, more severe possible charges loom, a conviction in this case would not legally prevent him from continuing his current run for president.

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Daniels and Trump had a one-time affair in 2006 in a Nevada hotel room, one year after he married current, third wife Melania Trump, née Knauss.

Trump pled not guilty to all 34 felony counts he is being charged with, for falsifying business records, which while in New York it is usually a misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in prison, it becomes a felony punishable by up to four years in prison when done in order to either exacerbate or conceal a previous crime. Though any prison time will most likely be far less than, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison under New York law.

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Trump – as have many of his Republican colleagues – has repeatedly condemned the case against him, and previously said in a statement: "This is political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history." His current attorney, Joe Tacopina, had maintained during an appearance on Good Morning America that there would be no guilty plea from his client. 

The former President arrived in New York City Monday© Getty
The former President arrived in New York City on Monday

However, Trump did turn himself in. He flew into New York City Monday, leaving his Palm Beach, Florida residence of Mar-a-Lago, which is also the source of a separate investigation concerning classified documents. He arrived at his Trump Tower penthouse in midtown to a small group of fans protesting the arraignment.

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New York City has seen heightened security both around Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan and the downtown criminal court where Trump was arraigned, after several prominent Republicans, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene – who announced she would be in New York City to protest – emboldened their voters to do the same.

Opponents and supporters of former US president Donald Trump gather in New York on April 4, 2023© Getty
Both supporters and opponents of Trump gathered outside the Manhattan District Attorney's office Tuesday

Major Eric Adams was quick to condemn those inciting any unlawful or violent unrest, and, addressing Greene, said: "Be on your best behavior."

Trump is expected to fly back to Mar-a-Lago today, and has a primetime speech at a rally planned there for tonight. In addition to the Stormy Daniels case, he is currently also under investigation for his involvement in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and his handling of classified documents. The separate investigations are still ongoing, and further charges relating to them have yet to be brought against him. 

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