Former US President Trump Addresses Supporters After Being Charged with Mishandling Classified Files
Former US President Donald Trump spoke to his supporters for the first time after being charged with mishandling dozens of boxes containing classified information. The 37 counts of impeachment, released on Friday, focused on Trump’s alleged mishandling of classified files and expose him to much more severe consequences than the personal, political, and commercial misconduct charges he has faced in the past.
The Stage is Set for an Unprecedented White House Race
This appearance also sets the stage for a race to the White House with an unprecedented atmosphere, as the Justice Department is pursuing the prosecution of the clear favorite for the Republican nomination. Trump, who denounces the accusations against him as a witch hunt, addressed two Republican conventions in Georgia and North Carolina.
“The baseless accusations against me will go down as one of the most horrifying abuses of power in the history of our country,” the politician said, amidst cheers and applause from his supporters.
Trump Criticizes Biden and Justice Department in Georgia Convention
Earlier in Columbus, Georgia, Trump criticized the current US President and the Justice Department, telling the crowd that he is being persecuted in court for his bid for a second term in the White House. “That’s why they do this, otherwise, there would be no witch hunt, and there would be no accusation,” he told his followers.
Charges Related to National Security Could Lead to 20 years in Prison
Trump faces charges related to the United States national security before a federal court in Miami, and the charges include the illegal withholding of national security information and obstruction of justice, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. The charges were presented by the special prosecutor of the Department of Justice, Jack Smith.
In response, Trump has already posted a video statement on his Truth Social platform. According to him, the accusation constitutes electoral interference orchestrated by Biden and his campaign ahead of the 2024 elections. “They’re after me because we’re leading in the polls by a long way again,” he said.
Republicans Express Outrage and Support for Trump
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, regarded as Trump’s strongest challenger within the Republican Party, also decried that the Department of Justice is “armed” to carry out a campaign against their force’s candidates. Many Republicans, including some of Trump’s rivals for the party’s nomination, have expressed their support for him and amplified their outrage. Republican leader of the house of Representatives Kevin McCarthy, who has had an on-and-off relationship with Trump, said the impeachment marked a “dark day” for the country.
The response from current US President Joe Biden, who has announced he will run for re-election in 2024, is yet to come.
(With information from AFP)