Trump calls hush money trial 'assault on America' as case officially kicks off

Posted 39 days ago


Former President Trump arrived at a Manhattan court Monday as the hush money case officially kicks off, where he will face trial over 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," Trump said at the courthouse Monday. "This is political persecution ... it's a case that should have never been brought."

"This is an assault on America and that's why I'm very proud to be here," he added.

The 45th president left Trump Tower early Monday morning, when he was seen waving to supporters before heading to Manhattan Criminal Court.

The trial marks the first time a former president will stand trial over criminal charges.

Dubbed the "hush money" case, the trial will focus on payments made by Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, to former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. The $130,000 payment was to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006.

Trump has denied the affair and pleaded not guilty to the 34 charges against him.

Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor, but prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with an intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which would be a felony.

"During the election, TRUMP and others employed a ‘catch and kill’ scheme to identify, purchase, and bury negative information about him and boost his electoral prospects," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleged last year. "TRUMP then went to great lengths to hide this conduct, causing dozens of false entries in business records to conceal criminal activity, including attempts to violate state and federal election laws."... (Read more)