Former President Donald Trump made a brief statement on the tarmac at Reagan International Airport shortly after his arraignment, saying the prosecutor’s strategy is, “if you can’t beat ’em, you persecute ’em or you prosecute ’em.”
Thank you very much. This is a sad day for America and it was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti. This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it.
When you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America. This is the persecution of the person that’s leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary and leading Biden by a lot. So if you can’t beat ’em, you persecute ’em or you prosecute ’em. We can’t let this happen in America. Thank you very much.
Trump appeared in the Washington, D.C., federal courthouse Thursday afternoon to hear the charges against him and to enter a plea of not guilty. He was indicted Tuesday on three counts of conspiracy and one count of obstruction in prosecutor Jack Smith’s sweeping investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and Trump’s efforts to overturn the election.
Republicans have accused Smith of partisan bias and issuing the charges against Trump as a form of “election interference,” despite Attorney General Merrick Garland‘s public defense of the top prosecutor. Garland said, “Such an appointment underscores the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters.”
Smith made a statement after announcing the charges, saying, “Today, an indictment was unsealed charging Donald J. Trump with conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to disenfranchise voters, and conspiring and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding.”
The indictment was issued by a grand jury of citizens here in the District of Columbia, and it sets forth the crimes charged in detail. I encourage everyone to read it in full. The attack on our nation’s capitol on January 6th, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy.
As described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant, targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government, the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election. The men and women of law enforcement who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6th are heroes.
Six co-conspirators have been named in the Trump case, with five of them believed to be Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, and Kenneth Chesebro.
Trump posted to his Truth Social account shortly before leaving his Bedminster, N.J., golf club for Washington, D.C.
“I AM NOW GOING TO WASHINGTON, D.C., TO BE ARRESTED FOR HAVING CHALLENGED A CORRUPT, RIGGED, & STOLEN ELECTION. IT IS A GREAT HONOR, BECAUSE I AM BEING ARRESTED FOR YOU. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!!”
Watch the clip above via Fox News.
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