Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Brock on Tuesday shed more light on the 34 felony charges former President Donald Trump faces, shortly after Trump appeared in a New York court.
Watch Bragg’s comments in the player above.
“Under New York State law, it is a crime to falsify business records with intent to defraud and to conceal another crime. That’s what this case is all about: 34 false statements made to cover up other crimes,” Bragg told reporters. At a news conference.
“No matter who you are in New York State, these are criminal acts. We cannot and will not normalize serious criminal activity,” he said.
read more: Read all the charges against Trump in the New York hush-money case
The indictment documents contain new details about the payments, which prosecutors say were aimed at discrediting then-presidential candidate Trump during the 2016 election.
Bragg’s comments followed Trump’s court appearance in which he pleaded “not guilty” to all charges. Trump has previously denied any wrongdoing in the case.
Trump, his former lawyer Michael Cohen and American Media, Inc. were involved in a “catch-and-kill” scheme beginning in 2015. Bragg said there are administrators. This includes AMI – the publisher of the National Enquirer – allegedly paying for exclusive rights to the news. That would affect Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign but never release them.
“As part of the scheme, Donald Trump and others made triple payments to people they said had negative information about Mr. Trump. To make these payments, they set up shell companies. And they made even more false statements, for example. , in AMI business records,” he said. .
read more: Who is Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney overseeing the case against Trump?
Bragg said the scheme to suppress negative information about Trump and the falsified business records to cover it up — including reimbursing Cohen for illegal hush-money payments as payments for legal services — violated New York law.
The allegations against Trump were known to New York prosecutors and law enforcement officials before Bragg took office. However, Bragg said the decision to move forward with the indictment was made only after new evidence and witnesses became available to his office.
The investigation, though largely procedural in nature, is a significant reckoning of Trump after years of investigations into his personal, business and political dealings. The case comes against the backdrop of his third campaign for the White House and other investigations in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta that could produce additional charges.
The next court date in the New York case is set for Dec. 4, though it’s unclear whether Trump will appear in person.