“Happy birthday, you get 400 years in prison if you’re convicted…” Donald Trump said Tuesday night at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. His fans raised happy birthday On that day. Trump happily received it a day before he turned 77. He again spewed anger at what the US Department of Justice had done to him.
In a half-hour speech, he felt he had every right to keep dozens of classified documents after his presidency. According to him, the Espionage Act, the basis of most of the charges, is only intended for spies and traitors. He named the entire list of senior officials who were allowed to keep sensitive documents, or were not fined for careless handling of secrets. There were presidents like Bill Clinton and Joe Biden.
He says it’s no coincidence that Republicans in Congress have been impeached as stories emerge about Biden taking millions of dollars from foreign powers. “An incumbent president arrests his main opponent in the middle of a presidential election. That’s election fraud.”
Calm on the docks
Hours earlier, in Miami, Florida, Trump sat quietly on the dock, looking defiantly forward, arms folded. Asked by the judge what he was saying about the 37 counts of withholding documents and obstructing an investigation, his lawyer replied: “Not guilty.”
Trump wants to sue Biden if he becomes president again
If Donald Trump wins the US presidential election in 2024, he will appoint a special counsel to investigate current President Joe Biden. The former US president delivered the warning in a speech to supporters on the front steps of his golf club in Bedminster on Tuesday evening (local time).
That means he will be tried by a jury. Not sure when that will be yet. He has the right to have his case heard within 70 days, but is expected to try to extend the case even after the presidential election in November 2024.
If he wins, the judiciary may be forced to drop the case. Trump is also likely to pardon himself. However, it remains to be seen whether this is legally possible.
In the interest of the country
A pardon for Trump is also possible if another Republican candidate wins. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, one of his rivals in the battle for the Republican nomination, said Tuesday he was leaning toward it. “Sorry, it’s not about crime, it’s about the interest of the country,” he said. “Having a former president in jail over documents is terrible for the country.”
A day earlier, Haley caused a stir by becoming one of the first serious candidates for the nomination to criticize Trump for accidentally keeping sensitive security information and showing it to others. If true, the allegation “endangers all of our men and women in uniform,” he said.
Square behind Trump
On Sunday, on Fox News, the home channel of Republican voters, Trump’s former attorney general, William Barr, abandoned him and predicted a dire outcome for the criminal investigation. “If half the charge is true, they will mismead him.”
But most Republican politicians are solidly behind Trump, whose arguments sometimes make Democrats laugh. For example, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy excused keeping some of the documents Trump carried in the bathroom, arguing that it could be locked away. Not for a moment does someone realize that someone is in the bath or toilet, perhaps within reach of America’s nuclear secrets.
Return confidential documents? Donald Trump wanted to show it off
Former President and candidate Donald Trump has been charged with 37 criminal counts related to classified documents. They wandered with him to the bathroom.
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