About 24 hours after a federal indictment against Donald Trump was unsealed, the former president appeared at a Georgia rally and not at all surprisingly blasted the Justice Department and mocked special counsel Jack Smith.
His comments to a crowd in Columbus, GA reflected the stream of Truth Social posts that he posted after the full extent of the charges against him were made public. Trump blasted Smith as “deranged,” characterized the process as corrupt and quipped that “every time I fly over a blue state I get a subpoena.”
The 37-count indictment alleges that the former president, in mishandling of classified documents, “put at risk the national security of the United States.” Federal prosecutors claim that he blatantly lied about his use of the top-secret material in an effort to “obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigations.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith On Donald Trump Indictment: "We Have One Set Of Laws In This Country And They Apply To Everyone"
As he did on social media, Trump tried to claim that the photos that prosecutors included in the indictment, showing boxes stored in the Mar-a-Lago ballroom, a bathroom and a shower, didn’t show evidence that they contained classified material. One photo showed a tipped over box with photos and newspaper clippings on the floor. But a closer look shows paper with text blurred out.
And he continued to point the finger at President Joe Biden, who also is facing a special prosecutor investigation after classified material was found at his home and a private office leased after he left office as vice president.
“This viscous persecution is a travesty of justice,” Trump said.
He said, “These criminals cannot be rewarded. They must be defeated.”
BBC and C-SPAN carried his remarks live, but other major cable and broadcast networks did not.
Trump is scheduled to appear in Florida federal court on Tuesday.
Smith said in brief remarks on Friday, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone.”
Trump was appearing at the Republican party convention, and was due to appear at another event in Greensboro, NC later on Saturday evening.
More to come.
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