Trump Speaks Out on Eve of Arraignment

Says latest indictment simply proves how 'corrupt' US is under Biden
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2023 1:09 AM CDT
On Eve of Arraignment, Trump Slams Latest Indictment
FILE - Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, July 29, 2023, in Erie, Pa.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Former President Trump was slamming his latest indictment on the eve of his arraignment Thursday in Washington, DC. In an all-caps post to his Truth Social platform Wednesday, Trump said the case against him—on charges that he tried to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election—proves that there is rampant "corruption, scandal, & failure" in the US under President Biden, the BBC reports. He also said he's never experienced more support from his followers than he is currently getting on this issue, and he once again falsely stated that then-VP Mike Pence could have stopped Congress from certifying the election results on Jan. 6, 2021. Meanwhile, security is being increased in DC ahead of the arraignment, at which Trump is expected to plead not guilty, CBS News reports.

This will be just the second time Trump has been in the nation's capital since leaving the White House, and a line was reportedly already forming Wednesday night outside the courthouse where he's expected to appear in person for a 4pm Eastern time hearing (though he does have the option to appear via video). Trump's lawyers have signaled that they plan to argue the first amendment right to free speech protects Trump in this case; on the Wednesday morning shows, one of his attorneys accused the Justice Department of "criminalizing speech" and said that in his post-election actions, Trump followed the advice of an attorney who is a "constitutional scholar." For more pre-arraignment reading:

  • CBS News has an arraignment explainer here. Among other things, it notes that yes, this is Trump's third arraignment; he also faces criminal charges related to the alleged mishandling of classified documents and the alleged hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels. A fourth criminal case is possible, as Georgia prosecutors are considering whether to charge him over alleged attempts to interfere in the election process in that state.
  • Slate says Trump is the "most furious" about this indictment, and explains why here.
  • FiveThirtyEight looks into whether this will be "the indictment that really hurts Trump" here.
  • Roundups of reactions to the indictment can be found all over the place, including Al Jazeera, the Wall Street Journal, the BBC, and Fox News.
  • More Newser reading on the topic: Pence has stepped up his criticism of Trump following the indictment; Trump reportedly pressured Pence during their Christmas phone call in 2020; the pundits have weighed in; you can read about the judge in the case here or the likely co-conspirators. (Or you can see what Trump had to say in a fundraising email after the indictment.)

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