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President Donald Trump is facing arraignment in a New York court over his alleged involvement in a 2016 hush money case.
Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York have accused the former president of directing his former lawyer Michael Cohen to make illegal payments to two women to keep them quiet about alleged extramarital affairs with Trump.
The payments, which violated campaign finance laws, were made in the run-up to the 2016 election. Trump has denied the allegations and maintains his innocence.
Trump is set to appear in court on Monday, where he will be formally charged with one count of making an illegal campaign finance contribution. Trump faces up to five years in prison if found guilty.
The charges come after a lengthy investigation into the alleged payment scheme. Cohen testified in 2019 that Trump directed him to make the payments and that Trump knew they were illegal.
The case has become a political issue, with Democrats accusing Trump of breaking the law and Republicans accusing the Justice Department of pursuing a politically motivated case.
The court hearing is expected to draw large crowds and national media attention. It will be the first time Trump has appeared in court since he left office in January.
The hearing is likely to be a test of the Justice Department's ability to hold Trump accountable for his alleged illegal activities. It is also likely to set a precedent for how future presidents may be held accountable for their actions.