Trump faces first public appearances since federal indictment – NBC10 Philadelphia

Former President Donald Trump will make his first public appearance since his impeachment on Saturday, speaking to friendly Republican audiences in Georgia and North Carolina as he tries to rally supporters for his defense.

Trump, who remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination despite his mounting legal troubles, is expected to use speeches at two state conventions to rail against the allegations and reinforce his claims that he was the victim of a politically motivated “witch hunt.” ‘ by Democratic President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.

The indictment, released on Friday, charges him with 37 felonies in connection with the hoarding of classified documents at his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. Trump is accused of willfully resisting the Justice Department’s demands for the return of classified documents, enlisting aides in his efforts to hide the records, and even telling his attorneys that he is resisting a subpoena for materials kept at his home wanted. The indictment alleges that he kept documents in a ballroom and bathroom at his resort, among other places.

The most serious charges carry prison sentences of up to 20 years each, but first-time offenders rarely get anywhere near the maximum sentence and the ultimate decision rests with the judge.

Despite all of this, Trump can expect a hero’s welcome this weekend as he seeks to rally his most vocal supporters and cement his status as his party’s leading candidate for the presidency.

“Trump is a fighter, and the kind of people who attend these conventions love a fighter,” said Jack Kingston, a former Georgia congressman who supported Trump’s White House campaigns in 2016 and 2020.

Former Vice President Mike Pence also plans to address North Carolina Republicans. It’s the first time he and his former boss have appeared at the same venue since Pence announced his own campaign last week.

Trump stressed that he had committed no wrongdoing, saying, “There was no crime other than what the Justice Department and the FBI have been doing against me for years.”

The indictment comes as Trump continues to dominate the primaries. Other candidates have primarily attacked the Justice Department and not Trump for the investigation. But the breadth of the allegations and the scope of the indictments could make it harder for Republicans to protest those allegations compared to a previous New York criminal case that many legal analysts derided as flimsy.

A Trump campaign aide described the former president’s mood ahead of the state visits as “defiant.” But advisers were far more reluctant after the indictment was unveiled, recognizing the seriousness of the charges and the threat they posed to Trump beyond the possible short term. concept of political gain.

The federal indictment document alleges that Trump not only intentionally possessed classified documents, but also boasted of them to visitors and aides. The charges are based on Trump’s own words and actions, which were told to prosecutors by attorneys, close associates and other witnesses, including his declaration of respect and knowledge of the procedures involved in handling classified information.

The indictment consists of 37 counts, 31 of which relate to willful withholding of national defense information and the remainder to alleged conspiracy, obstruction and misrepresentation. It could result in years in prison.

Trump is scheduled to appear in federal court for the first time on Tuesday in Miami. He was charged along with Walt Nauta, a personal aide who prosecutors said was moving boxes from a storage room to Trump’s home so he could screen him and who later lied to investigators about the movement. A photo accompanying the indictment shows several dozen file boxes stacked in a storage room.

The case increases the legal danger for Trump. He was indicted in New York in March over a hush-money scheme that stemmed from payments made to a porn actor during his 2016 campaign, and he faces further investigations in Washington and Atlanta that could also lead to criminal charges.

But of the various investigations he faced, the Documents case has long been considered the most dangerous threat and the one most prosecutable.

Trump’s enduring popularity with Republican voters is evidenced by the reluctance of his main competitors to deal with the federal impeachment.

Pence, campaigning in New Hampshire on Friday, said he was “deeply concerned” that Trump had been indicted at the federal level because he believed it would further divide the nation. Pence urged his audience to pray for Trump, his family and all Americans, and vowed that if he were elected president, he would uphold the rule of law and uphold “clean house at the highest level” of the Justice Department.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Trump’s leading Republican rival, lamented the “arming of federal law enforcement” and “an uneven application of the law.” Without making specific allegations, DeSantis targeted two popular Republican targets — Hillary Clinton and Biden’s son Hunter — and suggested that this “political bias” made them evade federal responsibility.

In his remarks at the GOP convention in North Carolina on Friday night, DeSantis did not mention Trump by name but again drew the comparison to Clinton.

“Is there any other standard for a Democratic secretary of state than for a former Republican president?” DeSantis asked. “I think there has to be a uniform standard of justice in this country. … At the end of the day, under my government, we will end the gun once and for all.”

Kari Lake, a Trump loyalist who lost the race for governor in Arizona last year, used her Friday night speech to Georgia Republicans to reiterate Trump’s false claims of a rigged 2020 election, and she implied that the prosecution another way is to deny him the presidency.

“He’s doing so well in the polls they’ve decided they can’t stop him. So what are they doing? They are charging him with completely false allegations,” Lake said. “The illegitimate Biden administration wants to imprison our beloved President Trump for more than 200 years. Wow.”

Among the declared Republican candidates, only Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson had specifically asked Trump to end his candidacy. Trump faces first public appearances since federal indictment – NBC10 Philadelphia

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