Trump slams baseless indictment over mishandling classified documents

In his first public appearance since the federal indictment against him was announced, former US President Donald Trump has labelled the charges as “ridiculous and baseless.” The 37-count indictment, which was made public on Friday, accuses Trump of keeping sensitive documents at his Mar-a-Lago property. He has denied any wrongdoing and claimed the indictment is a result of “election interference” by the “corrupt” FBI and justice department.

Trump is facing charges for mishandling hundreds of classified documents, including information about US nuclear secrets and military plans. The indictment alleges that he stored these files at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago, including in a ballroom and a shower. It also claims that he lied to investigators and attempted to obstruct their investigation into his handling of the documents. This marks the first ever criminal prosecution against a former US president.

During a speech at a Republican Party convention in Georgia on Saturday, Trump said, “They’re cheating, they’re crooked, they’re corrupt – these criminals cannot be rewarded, they must be defeated.” He also joked about being subpoenaed every time he flies over a “blue state” – one controlled by the Democrats.

Trump, who is running for the White House again in 2024, called the indictment a “hoax” by the “corrupt political establishment,” and described it as a “joke” and a “travesty.” His speech, which lasted over an hour, began with him thanking the “record crowd” and “patriots” from Georgia who supported his White House bid. He went on to criticise the “sinister forces” running the country and vowed to “finish the job we started, the most successful presidency.”

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In his speech, Trump claimed that the highly-sensitive documents should have fallen under the Presidential Records Act, rather than the Espionage Act. Under the Presidential Records Act, White House records are supposed to go to the National Archives once an administration ends, and such files must be stored securely. He also mentioned that “gun-toting FBI agents” had raided Mar-a-Lago.

Special counsel Jack Smith, who oversaw the investigation, has denied that the charges are politically motivated, stating, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone.”

As the 2024 election approaches, Trump spoke at a Republican Party convention in Columbus, Georgia, before attending another Republican Party event in Greensboro, North Carolina. Currently, he is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination. His former vice president, Mike Pence, who recently announced his own run for the presidency and criticised Trump, spoke earlier at the North Carolina event, although the two are not expected to cross paths.

Georgia is anticipated to be a key battleground in the race for the White House. Trump narrowly lost the state to current President Joe Biden in 2020, and it could potentially be the scene of further legal jeopardy for him. State officials are currently investigating whether Trump broke the law when he asked Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the exact number of votes needed to flip the vote in his favour.

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Lilly Larkin

Lilly is a writer with a diverse international background, having lived in various countries including Thailand. Her unique experiences provide valuable insights and culturally sensitive perspectives in her news reporting. When not writing, Lilly enjoys exploring local art scenes, volunteering for community projects, and connecting with people from different cultures.

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