On Tuesday, a quiet former president Donald Trump lashed out at New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg for pursuing criminal charges against him and claimed he was the victim of election interference without providing evidence.
Trump addressed supporters gathering at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, "I never thought anything like this could happen in America," "The only crime that I've committed has been to fearlessly defend our nation against those who seek to destroy it."
Previously, in a Manhattan court, Trump pled not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying company records, with prosecutors accusing him of coordinating payments to two women before the 2016 election to prevent publication of their sexual encounters with him.
Trump, competing for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, gave a 25-minute address in Florida on Tuesday night, compared to previous rallies that may take up to two hours.
Although starting a diatribe against prosecutors, he did not call on his supporters to organize additional demonstrations. And while it is anticipated that he will return to the campaign trail shortly, he provided no specifics.
Trump, 76, dug deep into his issues to assert his political opponents are using the legal system against him to prevent him from regaining the presidency in 2024.
Trump claimed that Manhattan District Attorney Bragg was trying to get him "before he knew anything about me." He stated that the case's judge, Juan Merchan, is "a Trump-hating judge." But, he provided no proof to substantiate his argument that their activities were intended to hinder his White House bid.
Attacks Legal Cases
Trump took new aim at the various legal cases against him, including the handling of classified documents that were brought to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House in early 2021, the investigation into the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the election interference case he faces in Georgia from the 2020 election.
Trump often referred to special counsel Jack Smith as a "lunatic" about his investigation into the documents issue.
He stated that the proceedings were an attempt to prevent his third run for the president, describing it as "massive election interference at a scale never seen."
Several combative, ardent Trump supporters, including Republican lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, long-time operative Roger Stone, pillow manufacturer Mike Lindell, former U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and Trump sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, gathered before him in a ballroom with gilded trim at Mar-a-Lago.
Melania Trump was not observed in the ballroom.
Show of Support
Among the hundreds was Nathan Mitchell, 18, the incoming president of the College Republicans club at Florida Atlantic University.
He stated he was there to support a candidate who offers "the best chance that America has to become great again."
Regarding the claims made against Trump, Mitchell stated, "It humiliates us all in front of the world."
Alex Gonzalez, 45, who managed a security company in Palm Beach and was wearing a black leather motorcycle vest with a "Born to Ride" patch above the number 45, said he came there to show the former president that the people support him.
About the indictment, Gonzalez stated, "It's all a charade, man, it's all a witch hunt," "Trump should not be exempt from the law; if he commits a crime, he should be held accountable like everyone else. Yet this is nonsense, as everyone knows."