Former President Donald Trump tore into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a speech from his Palm Beach, Florida, Mar-a-Lago estate only hours after pleading not guilty to falsifying business records related to alleged hush-money payments made before the 2016 presidential campaign. He told gathered supporters he “never thought anything like this could happen in America.”
The former president was arraigned Tuesday in New York City after being indicted on 34 first-degree counts of falsifying business records. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Trump was free to make remarks about the case because the judge did not impose a gag order.
“I never thought anything like this could happen in America. I never thought it could happen,” said Trump on Tuesday evening. “The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”
“From the beginning, the Democrats spied on my campaign — remember that they attacked me with an onslaught of fraudulent investigations Russia, Russia, Russia; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; impeachment hoax number one; impeachment hoax number two; the illegal and unconstitutional raid on Mar-a-Lago right here; the lying to the FISA court; the FBI and DOJ relentlessly pursuing Republicans; the uncontested judicial changes to election laws by not getting approvals from state legislatures,” said Trump.
The former president was referring to the original investigation by the FBI, and then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller, about whether he or his campaign members colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. After almost two years, Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of coordination or criminal conspiracy by Trump’s campaign.
Additionally, Trump referred to his impeachments. He was the first president in U.S. history to be impeached and acquitted twice. The former president also detailed several other investigations that clouded the administration.
However, Tuesday night, he slammed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as a “Soros-backed prosecutor” who “campaigned on the fact that he would get President Trump.
“A local failed district attorney charging a former President of the United States for the first time in history on the basis that every single pundit and legal analyst said there is no case — there’s no case,” said Trump. “But it’s far worse than that because he knew there was no case.”
Trump said Bragg should “resign” after “leaking” details of the sealed indictment to the media before it was unsealed on Tuesday.
Trump criticized several individuals, including Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden
The GOP former president also bashed the judge presiding over his case as a “Trump-hating judge” and Bragg’s wife as a “Trump-hating wife and family whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris.”
The 2024 Republican presidential front-runner’s speech came after his unprecedented New York City arraignment. The indictment alleged that the former president “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”
Southern District of New York federal prosecutors opted out of charging Trump in 2019 related to the payments. The Federal Election Commission also got rid of its investigation into the matter in 2021.
Bragg alleges that Trump falsified business records to “conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”
Former President Trump continued, delivering a point-by-point description of each investigation for which he is being targeted.
Trump defended himself against allegations from Special Counsel Jack Smith’s probe. Smith has been investigating the former president’s alleged mishandling of classified records at his Mar-a-Lago home.
“Our justice system has become lawless,” said Trump. “They’re using it now, in addition to everything else, to win elections.”
Trump also swiped at Hillary Clinton, who “got rid of 33,000 emails.”
“That was okay,” said Trump.
Of Smith, Trump called him a “lunatic special prosecutor.”
Finally, Trump slammed President Joe Biden, who is also under investigation by a special counsel for his alleged mishandling of classified records, and maintained that the documents he held at Mar-a-Lago were declassified.