Donald Trump said he is the victim of “electoral interference” as he proclaimed his innocence after pleading not guilty to 34 criminal charges in New York on Wednesday. The defiant former president said his indictment is an attempt to interfere with his 2024 White House bid. Speaking to nearly 500 supporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump said his “persecution” shows that the US is “going to hell” under Joe Biden.
The former president referred, among other things, to his two impeachment trials during his presidency and an ongoing probe into alleged attempts to interfere in that state’s 2020 presidential election.
He called the New York indictment the latest in an “onslaught of fraudulent investigations.”
He said: “This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election and it should be dropped immediately.”
He also lashed out at the prosecutor and the judge presiding over the New York case — despite being warned hours earlier to avoid any rhetoric that could cause civil unrest.
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Trump blasted his successor Joe Biden, noting he “had classified documents which he took when he was a senator” but was not being “harassed and hounded like the people who work for me are.”
The former president returned to the matter of his indictment, saying “this is a persecution, not an investigation” but “our heads are held very high.”
He added: “Every single pundit and legal analyst said there is no case. Virtually everyone.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says his office’s historic case against former President Donald Trump seeks to “ensure that everyone stands equal before the law.”
“No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring American principle,” Bragg said.
Bragg spoke to a room packed with reporters following Trump’s arraignment Tuesday in a Manhattan courthouse on 34 felony charges tied to hush money paid to multiple people during the 2016 presidential campaign. The former president pleaded not guilty.
The DA said additional evidence not available to his predecessor led to moving forward now. He didn’t elaborate on the evidence or how it came to prosecutors’ attention.
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