Former United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday pleaded not guilty after a New York grand jury indicted him on charges related to hush-money payments allegedly made during the 2016 presidential election, reported the Associated Press.

Trump is the first former US president to face criminal charges. The Republican Party leader is facing 34 felony charges and could face a maximum of four years in prison if convicted of any one of them, reported AP.

Prosecutors said Trump conspired to undermine the 2016 presidential election by trying to hide information that could have harmed his candidacy. The former president is accused of making payments to two women, including pornographic film actor Stormy Daniels, who claimed they had sexual encounters with him years earlier.

Trump also allegedly paid hush money to a doorman at Trump Tower who claimed he knew a story about a child that the former president reportedly had out of wedlock. Trump Tower is a skyscraper in New York City that houses the former president’s residence as well as the headquarters of his business conglomerate, the Trump Organization.

After he heard the charges against him, Trump flew back to Florida, where he claimed that the case against him was politically motivated. “This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election and it should be dropped immediately,” Trump said.

The Republican leader had announced that he will run for the presidential election in 2024 for a second term.

“I never thought anything like this could happen in America, never thought it could happen,” Trump said, according to CNN. “The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it. It’s an insult to our country.”

The comments came after the judge warned the politician to avoid making comments that could cause civil unrest.

The next in-person hearing of the case will be on December 4.