On Thursday, former President Donald Trump declared it a “somber day for America” after entering a not-guilty plea to charges of his alleged actions to alter the 2020 election results.
Discussing the situation with reporters, Trump said, “When you examine the current events, you see the deliberate targeting of a political rival.
This is something that was never meant to happen in America. It’s an attack on someone who’s significantly leading in the Republican primary and outpacing Biden considerably,” as he prepared to board his plane following his arraignment hearing in Washington, D.C.
In a statement that seemed to equate persecution with prosecution, Trump added, “If defeating him seems impossible, then the choice is to persecute or prosecute him. We must prevent this from happening in our country.”
Standing in the rain under an umbrella, Trump also took the opportunity to denounce Washington, D.C., characterizing it as a city filled with “filth and decay.” He declined to respond to reporters’ questions before boarding his plane to return to Florida.
During Thursday’s hearing, Trump entered a not-guilty plea to the charges against him, including conspiring to commit fraud against the United States.
The indictment from the Justice Department elaborates on Trump’s multifaceted attempts to hold onto power following his 2020 election defeat. It emphasizes how he consciously and repeatedly called the results fraudulent, despite explicit confirmation from multiple officials that he had lost.
As Trump campaigns for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, he consistently led GOP primary voter polls by double-digit margins.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll from July 23-27 indicated a tie between Trump and Biden at 43 percent each in a theoretical rematch. This poll took place before Trump’s indictment in Washington, D.C.
Additionally, the former president is confronting federal charges in Florida over mishandling classified documents after his term, and he faces charges in Manhattan related to an alleged scheme to suppress information about an affair during his 2016 campaign.