The former US president Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony criminal charges during a court hearing in New York on Tuesday.
Trump was accused of falsifying records to hide damaging information during the 2016 election.
According to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the Republican leader faces 34 felony charges of falsifying New York business records “to conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”
The charges focus on a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. She claims to have had an affair with Trump, which he denies. But the indictment also details other such pay-offs to suppress potentially damaging stories, one involving a doorman and another to a former Playboy model.
Trump became the first former president to be criminally prosecuted in US history.
“As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law,” said Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor overseeing the cases.
“No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring American principle,” he added.
“Not guilty,” the 76-year-old told the Manhattan court.
In anticipation of potential violence, a significant number of police officers were stationed before Tuesday’s hearing. The court was surrounded by competing protests from sizeable gatherings of both Trump supporters and detractors throughout the day.