Donald Trump, who has weathered two impeachment trials, a special counsel inquiry and decades of investigations, was accused by Manhattan prosecutors on Tuesday of orchestrating a hush-money scheme to pave his path to the presidency and then covering it up from the White House.

Trump pleaded not guilty in the case, which has far-reaching political consequences and opens a perilous chapter in the long public life of the real estate mogul and former president, who now faces the embarrassing prospect of a criminal trial.

Trump, who was indicted on 34 felony counts and stands accused of covering up a potential sex scandal involving a porn star, made an extraordinary appearance at the Criminal Courts Building in lower Manhattan to face the charges. Even as Trump’s supporters rallied outside, the former president sat, almost docile, at the defense table, listening as prosecutors described the case against him.