On Tuesday, Donald Trump appeared before a New York judge and was arraigned on 34 counts of falsifying business records. He became the first President of the United States to be charged with a crime.
During the hearing, Trump pleaded not guilty when asked how he would plead. Seated alongside his defense team in the Manhattan courtroom, the 76-year-old had his hands folded on his lap and wore a stony expression, making it an unprecedented hearing in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.
The charges against Trump are connected to three separate payments: a $30,000 payment to a doorman who allegedly had information about a child Trump fathered out of wedlock, $150,000 paid to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.
The prosecution argues that these incidents demonstrate that Trump engaged in a scheme to purchase potentially harmful stories about himself in order to conceal them and improve his chances of winning the 2016 presidential election, the Daily Mail reported.
The charges against Trump, which are for falsifying business records in the first degree, have a combined maximum sentence of over 100 years in prison under New York state law.
However, even if he were to be convicted on all charges, it is improbable that Trump would receive such a lengthy sentence. This is because each charge is a minor felony that has a maximum prison term of four years per count.
Written by staff