By Holly Matkin and Sandy Malone
New York, NY – Former President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges of first-degree falsifying business records on Tuesday.
President Trump was arrested and fingerprinted at the Manhattan Criminal Court just prior to his court hearing on April 3, BBC News reported.
The twice-impeached former President is now the first U.S. president to face criminal charges, according to Yahoo News.
New York Judge Juan Merchan refused requests for President Trump’s hearing to be broadcast live, CNN reported.
Merchan did allow five photographers to snap pictures of the courtroom and the former President prior to the hearing.
Details regarding the charges have not been released.
A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the former President on March 30 after hearing testimony about hush money payments allegedly authorized by President Trump back in 2016, before he was elected, WNBC reported.
Just a ton more anti-Trump protestors outside the park. Despite an all-caps call for his supporters to protest before his arrest, Trump supporters are getting deeply outnumbered by people in support of his arrest in lower Manhattan today. pic.twitter.com/z8BQ5ynaBV
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) April 4, 2023
Prosecutors launched the investigation into what became the scandal over porn star Stormy Daniels in 2018 after the President’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, claimed he paid her $130,000 on his client’s behalf ahead of the Presidential election.
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging President Trump in 2019 even though Cohen implicated him in his own plea deal, FOX News reported.
And the Federal Election Commission (FEC) dropped its investigation into the alleged hush payments in 2021.
BREAKING: Former President Trump just made an appearance as he is under arrest in the Manhattan courthouse. pic.twitter.com/aWGVl0ZJSL
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) April 4, 2023
The 45th President has already announced his intention to run for the GOP nomination for the 2024 election, FOX News reported.
The indictment could hold serious implications for his election prospects but legally, would not prevent former President Donald Trump from running for office again.
BREAKING: 500 Trump supporters in front of the courthouse protest the arrest of President Trump in NYC today pic.twitter.com/Ttp7kcQjKW
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) April 4, 2023
It was the former President himself who went public about what he called “illegal leaks” and said he thought he might be arrested soon, FOX News reported.