Apr 04, 2023

By Christine Ross

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Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as the first image emerges of the embattled former president in court.

Click  here for the indictment “statement of facts”

Trump entered the plea Tuesday during a a one hour arraignment in a lower Manhattan courtroom as prosecutors unsealed a grand jury indictment.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says the charges stem from a hush money payment.

“The evidence will show that he did so to cover up crimes relating to the 2016 election,” Bragg told reporters. “Donald Trump, executive at the publishing company American Media Inc., Mr. Cohen and others, agreed in 2015 to a catch and kill scheme, to buy and suppress negative information to help Mr. Trump’s change of winning the election.”

One of Trump’s lawyers was asked about a request from the judge who warned the former President to refrain from posting rhetoric online that could inflame or cause civil unrest.

“We’re three lawyers here to litigate and fight this case, we’re not public relations consultants, we’re not social media consultants, Donald Trump has made one hell of a brand and became President of the United States with his social media posts and messages, we are here to talk about the case, we can’t address what he posts or what he wants to post of did post,” said Joe Tacopina.

Earlier in Manhattan, Trump arrived at the courthouse  to surrender and be booked ahead of the hearing.

The judge ruled that TV cameras would not be allowed inside the courtroom.

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