WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump His allies and he are intensifying efforts to subvert the criminal case The former president is preparing for an historic court appearance in federal courts this week, where he will face felony charges that accuse him of illegally storing classified information.
Trump’s Tuesday afternoon appearance in Miami will mark his second time in as many months facing a judge on criminal charges. But unlike a New York case some legal analysts derided as relatively trivial, the Justice Department’s first prosecution of a former president concerns conduct that prosecutors say jeopardized national security and that involves Espionage Act charges carrying the threat of a significant prison sentence in the event of conviction.
Trump escalated his rhetoric before his arraignment against the Justice Department Special Counsel who brought the case. Jack Smith “deranged” His team of attorneys “thugs” He repeated his claim that he had been the victim of political persecution without providing any proof.
He asked his supporters Tuesday to protest in front of the Miami courthouse, where he is scheduled to be charged.
“We need strength in our country now,” Trump spoke to Roger Stone during an interview at WABC Radio. “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,” He went on.
He said that there was no other circumstance. “whatsoever” under which he would leave the 2024 race, where he’s so far been dominating the Republican primary.
Kari Lak, unsuccessful Republican governor candidate from Arizona who stated over the weekend, that if prosecutors “want to get to President Trump,” they’re ”going to have to go through me, and 75 million Americans just like me. And most of us are card-carrying members of the NRA.”
Trump’s calls for protest echoed exhortations he made ahead of a New York court appearance last April, where he faces charges arising from hush money payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign, though he complained that those who showed up to protest then were “so far away that nobody knew about ’em,” In a similar fashion to that of the previous case, he will address his supporters on Tuesday night hours after his court appearance.
Trump will depart on Monday for Miami and spend the remainder of the day with his advisers in Florida. After his court appearance, he will return to New Jersey, where he’s scheduled a press event to publicly respond to the charges.
Law enforcement officials are also preparing to deal with the possibility of unrest near the courthouse. Trump supporters from Florida’s other regions were planning to board buses and head for Miami. Mayor Francis Suarez was expected to announce additional details Monday about the preparations though there was little police presence near the courthouse as late as Sunday afternoon and barricades hadn’t yet been erected nearby, a stark contrast to New York City where police planned for protests for weeks even though no violence ultimately happened.
Indictments were unsealed by the Justice Department on Friday, which included 37 counts of felony charges against Trump. Of these 31, 31 relate to his willful retention and misuse of information about national defense. The indictment also includes conspiracy to commit obstruction, and making false statements.
According to the indictment, Trump did not intentionally retain any of his assets. hundreds of classified documents He took the material with him to Mar-a-Lago in Florida after he left the White House. He stored material in his bathroom, ballroom and bedroom, as well as in the shower. It included information on U.S. nuclear weapons programs and defense capabilities, and also a Pentagon. “attack plan,” The indictment states. If the information was leaked, members of a military force, sources confidential and collection methods could be at risk, according to prosecutors.
Beyond that, prosecutors say, he 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.
Some Republicans are trying to make the argument that Trump has been unfairly treated. citing the Justice Department’s decision in 2016 It is not appropriate to prosecute Hillary Clinton, a Democrat who was secretary of state at the time of her use of a personal email server for handling classified material. These arguments ignore the fact that FBI investigators found no evidence of Clinton’s or her aides having willfully violated laws concerning classified information, or obstructed an investigation.
New Hampshire Republican Gov. Chris Sununu told CBS News on Sunday that the New Hampshire Republican Gov. “huge difference” There is no difference between the two, but there are differences. “has to be explained to the American people.”
The Justice Department earlier this month Former Vice President Mike Pence was informed that the Justice Department would not be bringing charges for classified documents found in his Indiana house. Separate Justice Department special counsel investigation As in the Clinton investigation, there is no proof of any obstruction of justice or criminal intent.
Trump’s own former attorney general, William Barr, offered a grim prediction of Trump’s fate, saying on Fox News that Trump had no right to hold onto such sensitive records.
“If even half of it is true,” Barr spoke about the accusations in the indictment “then he’s toast. I mean, it’s a pretty — it’s a 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.”
Colvin reports from New York.