The expected renewed US presidential candidate is accused of falsifying business documents in order to keep a hush money payment of $130,000 (in today’s money: 122,000 euros) to former porn actress Stormy Daniels secret before the 2016 presidential election. According to her own account, Stormy Daniels had sex with Trump in 2006, which he denies.

At the beginning of the trial, the twelve jurors should be selected. This is a complicated process that can take days or even weeks. The citizens summoned by Judge Juan Merchan have to answer dozens of questions – including whether they belong to right-wing extremist groups and whether they follow Trump on online networks.

Hush money is usually not illegal in the USA. But the indictment does not relate to the hush money itself, but rather to the fact that Trump is said to have disguised the payment in 34 cases by forging business documents. The public prosecutor argues that information that was “harmful” to Trump was kept secret from the electorate.

Each of the 34 charges is punishable by up to four years in prison – that would add up to 136 years. According to experts, it is unlikely that the ex-president would actually have to serve a prison sentence since it would be his first criminal conviction. A prison sentence could be suspended. Trump has pleaded not guilty.