Former President Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 charges related to a secret payment of $130,000 made in 2016 to buy the silence of the porn actress Stormy Daniels concerning an extramarital affair. Trump made his plea before a criminal court in Manhattan, where a small number of his supporters and protesters gathered outside the courthouse.
The charges against Trump stem from the hush money agreement made with Daniels, a pornographic actress who received the money just days before the 2016 presidential election. The payment was allegedly made in an effort to prevent Daniels from speaking out about her alleged affair with Trump, which he denies. Trump’s attorney, Alan Futerfas, said in a statement that Trump “did not commit any crime.”
The charges against Trump are being pursued by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, and include two counts of violating campaign finance laws. If convicted, Trump could face up to five years in prison on each count. While it is unlikely that a former president will face jail time, the charges could still have serious implications for Trump’s reputation and legacy.
The case has become a symbol of the alleged corruption at the heart of the Trump presidency. It serves as a reminder of the former president’s tendency to use his power for personal gain, and has raised questions about the limits of executive power.