Trump Opens Post-Indictment Speech by Admitting to 'Crime' of 'Fearlessly' Defending 'Our Nation from Those Who Seek to Destroy It'
Former President Donald Trump admitted to a “crime” after appearing in a Manhattan courtroom for arraignment on 34 felony charges.
But he didn’t plead guilty to the charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump called Bragg’s prosecution an attempt to criminalize his constitutional civil rights, including his service as president.
“The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it,” Trump said.
TRUMP: “The only crime that I have committed is to fiercely defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it.” pic.twitter.com/LOctyjuaqp
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 5, 2023
The former president — and leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination — is facing 34 counts of falsification of business records, stemming from alleged payments made to women who claim to have had affairs with Trump.
Trump pleaded not guilty to the felony charges in his Manhattan court appearance.
Trump inside the courtroom
News outlets will not be allowed to broadcast the arraignment, but five still photographers are allowed to take photos ahead of the proceedings.
📸 Ed Jones/AFP; Seth Wenig/AP. pic.twitter.com/r5FyHAkXB1
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 4, 2023
Trump was delivering public remarks Tuesday evening after returning to his home in the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach County, Florida.
He compared the charges brought by Bragg — a Democrat whose campaign was supported by leftist billionaire George Soros — to previous attempts by Democrats to derail his presidency and political career.
“I never thought anything like this could happen in America,” Trump said.
“From the beginning, Democrats spied on my campaign, remember that?” he said. “They attacked me with an onslaught of investigations. Russia, Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. Impeachment hoax number one. Impeachment hoax number two.
“The illegal and unconstitutional raid on Mar-a-Lago.”
And the litany continued, covering the 2020 election and revelations of how the FBI colluded with Twitter and Facebook regarding news coverage about the Hunter Biden laptop story. The Bragg legal maneuver, Trump said, is just the latest move.
The charges against Trump amount to a new historical precedent.
None of Trump’s predecessors have ever been charged or convicted of a crime.
Trump could be sentenced to more than 100 years in New York prison if he’s ultimately convicted of the charges he’s facing, according to Reuters.
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