Lazy eyes listen
After surrendering for arrest in a New York City case stemming from his alleged 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, former US President Donald Trump has entered not guilty pleas on all 34 criminal charges against him.
Trump, 76, was arraigned in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, becoming the first president in US history to face criminal charges. His attorneys have described the indictment as a politically motivated “witch hunt” carried out by District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who ran for office on a promise to prosecute the former president and whose campaign was largely funded by billionaire activist George Soros.
When asked how he pleaded to the charges, Trump reportedly sat with his hands folded, flanked by his lawyers, and said “not guilty.” He waved to a crowd gathered outside the courthouse before the hearing after being driven in a motorcade from his home at Trump Tower in Manhattan. As he exited Trump Tower in front of reporters, he raised his fist. As he walked out of the courtroom, he ignored reporters’ questions.
Last week, a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in relation to a $130,000 payment to Daniels. The payment was allegedly made by Trump’s then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, in order to buy Daniels’ silence about an affair with the billionaire, who was on his way to becoming the Republican nominee for President in 2016. Trump has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
On his way to court on Tuesday, Trump posted on Truth Social, “Heading to Lower Manhattan, the courthouse.” “Wow, they’re going to detain me. I can’t believe this is happening in the United States. MAGA!”
Trump detractors have claimed that the indictment demonstrates that no one is above the law in America. However, the arrest of not only a former president, but also the leading opposition-party candidate in the 2024 presidential election, may herald the start of a new chapter in the US political system.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has condemned Trump’s prosecution, claiming that US Democrats are using the legal system to prevent a political rival from being elected. “This is totally anti-democratic… “Why not let the people decide?”