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Donald Trump Arrested Felonies Mugshot
Former US President Donald Trump makes his way inside the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on April 4 (ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

Donald Trump surrendered himself to the Manhattan DA’s office for arraignment on Tuesday, where he was charged with 34 felony counts stemming from hush money payments made to women with whom he allegedly had sexual encounters.

Trump pleaded not guilty.

Trump’s arrest — which happened around 1:14 pm Eastern time, and involved no mugshot nor handcuffs — came five days after a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the former U.S. president.

Under the New York State penal code, conviction for the Class E felony of falsifying business records — which is suspected to be among the charges Trump faces — can result in a prison term of up to four years, though that is unlikely for a first-time offender, per Yahoo News. (Such a charge can be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony when the falsification of the business record was done to conceal another crime.)

Trump’s indictment and arrest are both historic, as no other U.S. president, sitting or former, has ever been charged with a crime. Trump, who served as the country’s 45th President from 2017-2021, has been pursuing a second White House bid since November.

As part of a years-long probe by the Manhattan DA, a grand jury heard from witnesses including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that in 2016 he had facilitated payments to two women, to silence them about sexual encounters they claimed to have had with a married Trump a decade earlier.

Cohen testified that, as directed by Trump, he arranged payments — totaling $280,000, and classified internally as “legal expenses” — to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, to buy their silence while Trump made what would be his first successful White House run. Cohen says he was reimbursed for Daniels’ “hush money” via personal checks from Trump.

As for McDougal, The National Enquirer, acting in cooperation with Cohen and other members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, had bought the rights to her story for $150,000, as a means to keep it from ever seeing the light of day.

Trump all along has denied that the sexual encounters occurred. He has contended that the investigation is a “witch hunt” led by Manhattan DA Alvin L. Bragg, a Democrat who is now the first prosecutor to indict a former U.S. president.

Besides the hush money inquiry, Trump faces criminal investigations in both Atlanta and Washington over his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, special counsel for the Justice Department has been presenting evidence before a grand jury regarding Trump’s possession of hundreds of classified documents at his Florida estate, which were seized in August 2022; it is not clear if that investigation will result in criminal charges.

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