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In a watershed moment for the US criminal system, former US president Donald Trump turned himself in to New York authorities.

Source: Wikipedia. Former US President, Donald Trump.

In a Manhattan courtroom, Donald Trump has pleaded not guilty as 34 felony charges were unsealed against him.

The felonies include falsifying business records after an investigation into hush money paid to a porn star.

He learned about the charges against him for the first time at his arraignment.

Taken together, the charges carry a maximum sentence of 136 years in prison under New York law

While falsifying business records in New York on its own is a misdemeanor punishable by no more than one year in prison, it is elevated to a felony punishable by up to four years in prison when done to advance or conceal another crime.

He is the first American president in history to face criminal charges.

Trump claims he is the victim of “political persecution”.

Trump, who served as president from 2017 to 2021, in November announced a bid to regain the presidency in 2024.