Former President Donald Trump Pleads Not Guilty to 34 Felony Charges 

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By Eli Jordan 

The 45th president was arrested on Tuesday, April 4th. He was arrested on charges for falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush money payment from Trumps lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The money was sent prior to the 2016 election to prevent Daniels from talking about an affair she had with the former president in 2007. The alleged cover-up happened when Trump was in office as president of the United States. In 2017, Trump met with Cohen in the White House to begin sending cheques to Daniels over a 10-month period. Where the issue arises is the checks were labeled as “legal fees,” but Cohen came out and said that those were the hush-money payments sent to Daniels. The prosecutors state, “The payment records, kept and maintained by the Trump Organization, were false New York business records. In truth, there was no retainer agreement, and Lawyer A was not being paid for legal services rendered in 2017. The Defendant caused his entities’ business records to be falsified to disguise his and others’ criminal conduct.” If the average person were to deliver hush-money to someone, that itself is not illegal. The problem comes about when it was money spent to help a presidential campaign but not disclosing it violates federal campaign finance law. Cohen was convicted for these violations. When Trump reimbursed Cohen for those payments, the prosecutors say that it ties him to the criminal act.  Trump’s legal team argues that it is a legal stretch, and that this is a politically-motivated prosecution. The next step in the process if to find a trial date. The prosecution asked for a trial in January 2024, and Trump’s legal team is fighting for a date in the spring of 2024. 

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