Donald Trump gave a speech from the ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 4. He spoke to an invited gathering of about 500 people, speaking against charges brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who alleges that Trump falsified business records.
The charges relate to a payment made by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen of $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. She claimed that she had an affair with Trump, which he denies. New York prosecutors allege that Trump instructed Cohen to pay Daniels and then illegally disguised the payment to conceal a violation of state and federal election laws.
Trump pleaded not guilty to the 34-count indictment brought against him by Bragg in a Manhattan court earlier on April 4.
During his speech, Trump continuously maintained his innocence and stated that Bragg had no case against him. He expressed his disbelief that a situation like his could occur in America and spoke of how his defense of the nation was his only ‘crime’. He also emphasized that the charges against him are an insult to the country and accused Bragg of being a criminal. Trump called for Bragg to resign at minimum due to the leaks of the indictment before arrangement.
Trump’s speech also brought forth other investigations conducted against him, including the 2022 FBI search of Mar-a-Lago and the New York Attorney General Letitia James’s civil lawsuit aimed at Trump and his family.
Trump believed that Trump-hating judges, including the judge in his case, Juan Merchan, were instrumental in bringing the charges against him. Trump drew attention to the point that the judge’s daughter worked on Vice President Kamala Harris’s 2020 presidential campaign.
Trump also dwelled on what he saw as the United States’ decline under current President Joe Biden, claiming the country is failing and in decline.
Republicans and analysts believe charging a former president presents risks and sets Trump up as a martyr, possibly turning the legal system into a weapon that can be used against political opponents.
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