Former US President Donald Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts after being arrested over allegations of hush money payments to adult star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential election campaign.
The charges include falsifying business records, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
Shortly before his arrest, the 76-year-old took to his social media platform Truth Social to express his disbelief, stating: “Can’t believe this is happening in America. MAGA [Make America Great Again]!”
Trump’s arrest has been long-awaited, with investigations into his personal, political, and business dealings having been ongoing for several years.
The investigation which led to Trump finally being indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on 31 March, stems from allegations from Daniels that she had a sexual encounter with the former US President in Lake Tahoe in 2006 and that he allegedly paid her to keep quiet about it.
The investigation also looked into another woman – ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal – who similarly claimed she had a sexual encounter with Trump and was paid a six-figure sum to prevent her from going public.
Despite Trump having been arrested, charged, and having pleaded not guilty to the 34 felony charges, the exact details of the charges have not yet been released, other than that they are in relation to business fraud.
If convicted of falsifying business records, Trump could face up to four years in prison. So, if he were convicted of all counts, he could face a maximum sentence of 136 years.
Trump’s arrest is a significant moment in American history, as it marks the first time any current or former US President has faced criminal charges.