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Trump falsified business records to cover up election crimes: Manhattan DA

New York County District Lawyer Alvin Bragg speaks after former U.S. President Donald Trump appeared at Manhattan Prison Courthouse, after his indictment by a Manhattan grand jury following a probe into hush cash paid to porn star Stormy Daniels, in New York Metropolis, April 4, 2023.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump falsified enterprise information in an effort to “cowl up crimes” associated to the 2016 presidential election, Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg stated Tuesday after the ex-president’s historic arrest and arraignment.

“Below New York State legislation, it’s a felony to falsify enterprise information with the intention of fraud and intent to hide one other crime,” Bragg stated at a press convention Tuesday afternoon.

“That’s precisely what this case is about,” he stated.

Observe CNBC’s dwell protection of Trump’s arraignment Tuesday.

Trump lower than two hours earlier pleaded not responsible to 34 felony counts of falsifying enterprise information stemming from Bragg’s probe centering on hush cash funds made to 2 ladies forward of the 2016 election. Trump received that race towards Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Bragg stated Trump made false statements “month after month” in 2017 when he reimbursed his former lawyer Michael Cohen for the funds, claiming they have been for authorized companies.

“Why did Donald Trump repeatedly make these false statements? The proof will present he did so to cowl up crimes associated to the 2016 election,” Bragg stated.

The alleged scheme to hide funds from the general public “violated New York election legislation, which makes it against the law to conspire to advertise a candidacy by illegal means,” the DA stated.

“These are felony crimes in New York state, irrespective of who you’re. We can not and won’t normalize severe prison conduct,” Bragg stated.

That assertion got here as Bragg has weathered a tidal wave of criticism from Trump and his allies, who accuse him of pursuing a politically biased case that targets Trump as a result of he’s a number one Republican presidential candidate.

The grand jury’s vote final week to indict Trump made him the primary former president in U.S. historical past ever to face prison expenses.

The 16-page indictment was unsealed after Trump’s arraignment earlier Tuesday afternoon. The DA’s workplace additionally launched an announcement of details that detailed alleged efforts to suppress the publication of claims from two ladies, porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy mannequin Karen McDougal, who each alleged that they had intercourse with Trump years earlier whereas he was married.