Trump pleads not guilty in front of judge to 34 counts
Donald Trump pleaded not guilty on Tuesday after being formally charged with falsifying accounting records, in a landmark criminal hearing before a judge in New York.
The former president, the first to suffer such a legal fate, could therefore have to face a trial, even if he will try everything to avoid this ordeal.
The Republican, who is seeking a new mandate, is targeted by 34 heads of accusation, in particular for embezzlement related to money paid in 2016 to a porn star.
He showed himself with a closed face, a stern look, in the courtroom.
Previously, the septuagenarian described his fate, which divides and shakes America, as “surreal”.
Surrounded by bodyguards, the ex-tenant of the White House who aims to return to 2024, had arrived at the Manhattan courthouse in a tightly-secured convoy overflown by US media helicopters.
In front of the courthouse, handfuls of activists for and against Trump, sometimes colorful, were separated from the first invectives – the authorities being concerned that this tense situation, already at the heart of exceptional media coverage, does not degenerate .
His detractors had unfurled a huge banner “Trump lies all the time”.
The billionaire claims his innocence and claims to be the victim of a “ witch hunt” orchestrated by the Democrats of President Joe Biden, who would have “robbed” him of his victory in the presidential election of 2020.
The Democrat said that this appearance was “not a priority” for him, according to White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre.
New Yorker by birth, Donald Trump spent the night in his luxurious “Trump Tower” and had to submit, in court, to the ritual imposed on any defendant: state his name, age and profession, take a fingerprint. On the other hand, he probably escaped the famous “mugshot” – the taking of a mugshot, the source of so much public humiliation for stars in the United States.
After his hearing, which should last about thirty minutes before Judge Juan Merchan, Donald Trump should then be released, possibly under conditions, pending the organization of his trial at a later date.
< p>The New York businessman, who made his fortune in real estate and television, then gave an appointment to his faithful and his tens of millions of voters for a press conference from his residence Mar -a-Lago, Florida at 8:15 p.m.
The charges relate to accounting fraud during the legal payment in October 2016 and the subsequent reimbursement of $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Donald J. Trump Indictment by Stefan Becket
Her real name Stephanie Clifford, this woman, who has been working with the justice system for five years, was supposed to conceal a supposed and very brief extramarital relationship in 2006 with Donald Trump, which he denies.
The 130,000 dollars that she had received from a former lawyer and handyman of the former president, Michael Cohen – who did prison and turned against his boss in 2018 – had not been declared in the accounts candidate Trump's 2016 presidential campaign campaign.
A possible violation of New York State election laws: this sum was recorded, potentially illegally, as a “legal fee” in the accounts of his company Trump Organization, already condemned in December and January to a civil fine of 1.6 million dollars for fraud.
Beyond this case, Donald Trump is the subject of several other investigations, in particular on his role in the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, his management of the presidential archives or the pressure exerted on electoral officials in Georgia to contest his defeat in the presidential election of 2020.