Donald Trump said on Tuesday evening (EST) that he was the victim of “electoral interference” and attacked New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg for criminal charges against him. Trump had been impeached hours earlier and became the first former U.S. president to be formally detained and face criminal charges.
“I never thought something like this could happen in America,” he said Donald Trump supporters gathered at his Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida.
“The only crime I committed was fearlessly defending our nation against those who would destroy it,” he added. USA.
“They can’t beat us at the polls, so they’re trying to beat us by law,” Trump said. The politician accused prosecutor Bragg of wanting to get him “before he knew anything about him.”
The former president also stated that the judge in the case, Juan Mechan, is a “Trump-hating judge.” – We are dealing with a huge, unprecedented scale, interference in elections – he added.
Trump faced criminal charges
The former US president spent about an hour in the building on Tuesday, where he was formally detained, fingerprinted and revealed by a grand jury. Moments later, he was released and headed to Florida. The former president was not handcuffed or photographed during his detention.
The former US president has been charged with 34 counts of forging business documents. Each relates to checks Trump wrote to his then-lawyer Michael Cohen for fictitious legal services.
According to investigators, in fact, the checks were intended to return 130,000. dollars that Cohen paid during the 2016 election campaign to porn actress Stormy Daniels. This was to be payment for her silence regarding her alleged intimate meeting with Trump.
Although falsification of business documents is not usually treated as a crime, but a misdemeanor, as explained by the Chief of the District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, Alvin Bragg, it is a crime if the purpose is to cover up another crime. In this case, it’s a violation of New York’s electoral law.
Bragg: colluding to promote a candidate
Prosecutors say the payment to Daniels was part of a broader deal between Trump and the publisher of the National Inquirer tabloid to “capture” and suppress negative stories about Trump during the campaign.
“This arrangement violated New York electoral law, which makes it a crime to conspire to promote a candidate by illegal means,” Bragg said at a news conference.
Already in 2018, in the same case and for tax fraud, Cohen was sentenced by a federal court to three years in prison, who made a payment on behalf of Trump. The federal prosecutor’s office, however, decided not to file charges against Trump himself. Bragg himself and his predecessor, Cyrus Vance, initially did the same, but according to Bragg, the change of mind was influenced by the emergence of new evidence.
According to Yahoo News, although New York law provides for sentences of up to four years in prison for the crimes of which Trump was accused, in the case of previously unpunished people, prison sentences are almost never imposed.
Trump Advocates: The Rule Of Law Is Dead
The former president’s lawyers accused the prosecutor’s office of bias and violation of the rule of law.
“This case, these leaked allegations show us that the rule of law is dead in this country. Understand that there is no scenario where if the defendant was not named Donald J. Trump, we would be where we are,” Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina said outside the Manhattan State Courthouse.
According to reports from CNN journalists who watched the brief trial, Judge Juan Merchan decided not to enforce the ban on speaking about the case against Trump, but warned both sides against inciting and using inflammatory language.
Just before his arrest, the former president’s son Donald Trump Jr. posted on Twitter a photo of a judge’s daughter who was supposed to work in the election campaign Joe Biden.
Previously, Trump claimed the judge “hated” him, called prosecutor Bragg an “animal”, called for protests and suggested that charging him could result in “death and destruction”.
Trump becomes the first former US president to face criminal charges
Small groups of Trump supporters and opponents gathered outside a courthouse in Manhattan on Tuesday, but there were no major incidents.
Trump became the first former president in U.S. history to face criminal charges on Tuesday. However, the former president is the target of at least three investigations where he faces more serious charges.
According to media reports, the Georgia State Attorney’s office is close to indicting him for his pressure to reverse the 2020 election. At the same time, special independent federal prosecutor Jack Smith is investigating Trump’s actions related to the attack on the Capitol, as well as his holding of hundreds of classified documents.
Main photo source: Reuters