Donald Trump and his allies are taking extra steps to undermine the criminal charges made against him as the former president prepares for his history-making federal court appearance where he’s facing dozens of felony charges for illegally hoarding classified information.
This Tuesday afternoon, former president Donald Trump will face a judge on criminal charges for the second time in months. The prosecution regards Trump’s jeopardization of national security involving Espionage Act charges which could lead to a significant prison sentence should he be convicted, according to prosecutors.
In an interview with WABC Radio, Trump called Jack Smith and his team of prosecutors, who are the special counsel who filed the case, “deranged” and “thugs,” claiming he’s the target of political persecution without any evidence.
Trump also called on his supporters to protest at the Miami courthouse on Tuesday where he is scheduled to be arraigned on his charges. He also stated that there are no circumstances in which he won’t continue his journey to the 2024 presidential race.
“We need strength in our country now, and they have to go out and they have to protest peacefully. They have to go out. Look, our country has to protest. We have plenty of protest to protest. We’ve lost everything.”
After his court appearance, Trump is scheduled to return to New Jersey where he will deliver a press event to publicly respond to the charges, according to the Associated Press. Law enforcement officials in Florida are also concerned over the protest plans that have been discussed from Trump and his supporters.
In New York City, barricades were set up days in advance with a heightened police presence, compared to Florida currently, where preliminary measures have yet to be enforced.
On Friday, the Justice Department unsealed the indictment charging Trump with 37 felony counts, 31 of which relate to the willful retention of national defense information, as well as conspiracy to commit obstruction and false statements. According to the indictment, “Trump intentionally retained hundreds of classified documents that he took with him from the White House to his Florida estate, Mar-a-Lago, after leaving the White House in January 2021.”
“The material he stored, including in a bathroom, ballroom, bedroom and shower, included material on nuclear programs, defense and weapons capabilities of the U.S. and foreign governments and a Pentagon attack plan.”
“The information, if exposed, could have put at risk members of the military, confidential human sources and intelligence collection methods,” according to AP.
Prosecutors also have stated that Trump “sought to obstruct government efforts to recover the documents, including by directing personal aide Walt Nauta — who was charged alongside Trump — to move boxes to conceal them and also suggesting to his own lawyer that he hide or destroy documents sought by a Justice Department subpoena.”
While some Republicans have argued that Trump is being treated unfairly when compared to the Justice Departments 2016 decision to not charge Hilary Clinton for her handling over classified documents through a private email server, many have pointed out that at that time, FBI investigators didn’t actually find anything that indicated Clinton or her aides broke any laws regarding classified information.
The Justice Department has also informed former Vice President Mike Pence that he would not be charged over the presence of classified documents in his Indiana home. Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, recently stated on Fox News that Trump’s fate isn’t looking great as the charges currently stand.
“If even half of it is true, then he’s toast. I mean, it’s a pretty – it’s very detailed indictment, and it’s very, very damning. And this idea of presenting Trump as a victim here – a victim of a witch hunt is ridiculous.”
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.