The charges are related to an alleged hush money scheme that Trump engaged in during the 2016 presidential election to undermine the integrity of the election by suppressing negative information also Trump has denied the claims of affairs.
The evidence will be “borne out in a public courtroom in downtown Manhattan,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg at a news conference after the arraignment.
Trump’s legal team, along with some of his Republican allies, has criticized the indictment, with legal experts questioning the case as well. The defense lawyers argued that in order to bump up the charges from a misdemeanor to a felony, prosecutors will have to show that the falsified records.
Despite the legal proceedings, Trump has continued to make public appearances and has hinted at running for president in 2024. He held an event with his supporters Tuesday evening at his Mar-a-Lago resort, where he made his public case against the indictment and previewed how he intends to fight against the charges politically.
Trump denies wrongdoing as he faces 34 felony charges
Trump has also railed against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the judge who presided over the arraignment, claiming that the charges against him are an insult to the country and that he is only being charged because he “fearlessly defend[ed] our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”
After being indicted on charges of fraud and tax evasion, former President Donald Trump did not speak to the media while at the courthouse on Tuesday.
Instead, he made his first on-camera remarks later that night at an event at his Mar-a-Lago resort, surrounded by supporters. Trump denied any wrongdoing and condemned the indictment as politically motivated persecution.
During the arraignment, prosecutors presented the judge with a packet of Trump’s social media postings, which they said contained “irresponsible” threats, including a photo of Trump holding a baseball bat.
Trump’s lawyers argued that their client had First Amendment rights and was simply expressing his frustration with alleged illegal leaks about the indictment. The judge acknowledged Trump’s free speech rights but warned both sides about making comments that could incite violence or create civil unrest.
Despite the judge’s warning, Trump accused the judge of hating him and claimed the case was brought to interfere with the 2024 election. He also attacked the prosecutor and other political opponents.
This is the first criminal case against Trump, but he still faces potential legal trouble from other investigations, including the Special Counsel’s investigation into the January 6th Capitol attack and the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.