Former President Donald Trump attacked both the process and prosecutor behind the indictment and capped it with a defiant vow — he’ll plead not guilty to 37 felony charges.
“It’s a disgrace to our country,” Trump said on Howie Carr’s radio show Monday night of the accusations made against him by the Biden administration’s Justice Department.
Trump, the current leading contender for the Republican nomination to the White House in 2024, was indicted on charges he willfully mishandled classified information he apparently admitted he did not have the right to possess and continued to withhold from the government despite numerous attempts by the National Archives and the Department of Justice to secure the nation’s secrets.
The 45th President is due to surrender himself to federal authorities in Miami on Tuesday at 3 p.m. Trump told Carr he would plead “not guilty” to all charges.
“Getting ready to head down to Doral in Miami. We must all be STRONG and DEFEAT the Communists, Marxists, and Radical Left Lunatics that are systematically destroying our Country. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he declared Monday morning, capitalization included.
Trump has maintained his innocence from the moment the FBI raided his Mar-A-Lago resort-turned-residence in August of last year, claiming he had declassified any records in his possession and that the files were of a personal, not presidential, nature. He has responded to the indictment with both shock and anger.
“Hard to believe that the leading candidate, by far, of the opposition party, got indicted. This is strictly Third World. MAGA,” Trump said through his Truth Social media company. He said “we’re like a third-world country” again during his evening interview with Carr.
The former president was not alone in his assertion that the Biden Administration’s Justice Department had gone too far in accusing the ex-command-in-chief of mishandling documents when so many other former government officials have come forward with their own misplaced classified information, including President Joe Biden, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
Scores of Republicans in the House and Senate jumped to his defense over the weekend and after the 49-page indictment was unsealed and made public, a march that continued through Monday. Even Trump’s leading opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, questioned whether Trump was getting a fair deal, though he didn’t name his chief rival.
Many Republicans say the charges are an attempt by Democrats to remove Trump from electoral consideration.
“The radical Far Left will stop at nothing to interfere with the 2024 election in order to prop up the catastrophic presidency and desperate campaign of Joe Biden,” U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, the number-four Republican in the House, wrote on Truth Social in a post shared by Trump.
In a post-indictment interview with conservative political activist Roger Stone, the former president called on his supporters to protest his court date.
“Our country has to protest,” the President told Stone, who he pardoned for allegedly lying to Congress.
Officials in Miami, apparently responding to reports that far-right group The Proud Boys would answer Trump’s call to protest his court appearance, were prepared for up to 50,000 protesters to arrive, according to reporting by the Miami Herald.
“Stay strong. Stay very, very strong,” he said to his supporters during Carr’s show.