It finally happened: Former president Donald Trump was charged this afternoon with 34 counts of falsifying business records by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. In a spectacle that played out almost entirely behind closed doors, but was still carried on television news like Trump was flying to the moon to be arraigned by Xenomorphs, Trump surrendered voluntarily at a downtown Manhattan courthouse, was arrested and booked, pleaded not guilty, and then went back to Mar-a-Lago on his own recognizance. 

The counts cover 34 separate instances of a false business entry or record. Some refer to false entries into business ledgers. Others refer to false invoices or checks. All 34 counts against Trump are felony charges (class E) instead of misdemeanors. To make that case, Bragg must convince a jury that all of the criminal record-keeping was done in order to cover up some larger crime.

Read the rest of Elie Mystal’s piece at The Nation