Former President Trump cast his “sham” federal indictment as “election interference” by the Biden administration, slamming it as a “the most heinous abuse of power in the history of our country.”
Trump, the current 2024 frontrunner, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Miami, Florida Tuesday to 37 federal felony counts stemming from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records at Mar-a-Lago.
The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and false statements.
Trump, making remarks Tuesday night from his property Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, slammed Smith as a “deranged lunatic,” and slammed President Biden for having “his top political opponent arrested and charged.” He said he had undergone “political persecution like something straight out of a fascist or communist nation.”
“The Espionage Act has been used to refer to traitors and spies,” Trump said. “It has nothing to do with a former president legally keeping his own documents.”
Trump defended himself, saying it is, instead, the Presidential Records Act that applies to his case.
He added: “In other words, whatever documents the president decides to take with him, he has the right to do so—it’s an absolute right. This is the law.”
Trump went on to point to former President Bill Clinton, saying he “lost the nuclear codes and absolutely nothing was done and lost the nuclear codes.”
Trump pointed to former President George W Bush, saying his White House “lost 22 million emails,” and said the National Archives “cannot ensure a complete transfer of any of the Bush records.”
Trump went on to slam Smith as a “raging and uncontrolled Trump hater.”
Among the charges against Trump are 31 counts of willful retention of national defense information —including documents concerning White House intelligence briefings related to various foreign countries; documents concerning military capabilities of a foreign country and the U.S. with handwritten annotation in black marker; a June 2020 document concerning nuclear capabilities of a foreign country; an Oct. 21, 2018, document concerning communications with a leader of a foreign country; an undated document concerning military contingency planning of the U.S.; a document from December 2019 concerning foreign country support of terrorist acts against U.S. interests; an undated document concerning nuclear weaponry of the U.S.; an undated document concerning the timeline and details of an attack in a foreign country; and more.
Trump also pointed to the alleged 17 audio recordings the Burisma executive made of conversations he allegedly had with Joe Biden and Hunter Biden while Biden served as vice president.
If re-elected in 2024, Trump said he would appoint a special prosecutor “to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the United States of America,” referring to Joe Biden and “the entire Biden crime family.”
“It’s very simple,” he said. “They want to silence me because I will never let them silence you.”
Trump said he is “the only one who can save this nation.”