Former US President Donald Trump faces a total of up to 136 years in prison on all 34 criminal charges of falsifying business records that he was charged in Manhattan Criminal Court (New York) on Tuesday, April 4. The calculations were published by the Fox News channel. Trump has become the first ex-US president to face criminal charges and pleads not guilty.
If Trump is found guilty on one or all 34 counts, the actual sentence will be much less, the journalists noted. Falsifying business documents is considered a misdemeanor under New York law, but if you intend to commit another crime or attempt to cover up another crime, it is a felony with a maximum sentence of four years.
After the indictment, Trump flew back to Florida and spoke publicly in Mar-a-Lago against the indictment, CNN reports. He said he intends to fight the allegations when he runs again in 2024. The ex-president criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and the judge himself.
“I never thought that this could happen in America, I never thought that this could happen. The only crime I have committed is the fearless defense of our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”
Trump's lawyers have until August 8 to file any motions that the prosecution will respond to by September 19. Judge Juan Mercan will rule on the motions at the next in-person hearing scheduled for December 4.
Trump was detained on the evening of April 4, before the start of the court session. He was not in custody for a long time, it was a formal detention before being charged, the ex-president was not handcuffed, but his fingerprints were taken. Ahead of his arrest and indictment, a Manhattan County grand jury voted to indict Trump in a criminal case involving a $130,000 campaign fund payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet. Prosecutors allege that Trump sought to undermine the integrity of the 2016 presidential election by paying women, including Daniels, to keep quiet about having sex with him. In this way, he wanted to avoid negative information about himself before the elections, so as not to harm his campaign. Trump also repeatedly forged documents revealing votes in the 2016 election to cover up criminal behavior, the indictment documents say.
In August 2022, the FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence for top secret documents he might have taken with him when he left the White House. Which ones, and whether they are connected with the 2016 elections, were not reported. Then the US National Archives asked Trump to return 15 boxes of documents for many months, but after that he decided to contact the FBI because of the threat of their destruction. Trump himself believes that the actions of the FBI were related to the upcoming elections in 2024.