On Thursday, Trump was hit with numerous criminal charges in the classified documents case that was being investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after a federal grand jury voted to indict him. Federal prosecutors are accusing the former president of mishandling sensitive presidential records that he took after leaving office in January 2021 and obstructing government efforts to retrieve them. Among the charges are 31 counts of willfully retaining documents containing sensitive or classified information relating to U.S. and foreign military capabilities, U.S. and foreign nuclear programs, hypothetical invasion plans, and more.
Despite the considerable amount of evidence presented against him in the indictment, Trump has maintained his innocence in the case. On Saturday, during an interview for Politico, he vowed to stay in the 2024 presidential race and also called the prosecutors leveling the charges against him “thugs and degenerates.”
“I’ll never leave,” Trump told the outlet. “Look, if I would have left, I would have left prior to the original race in 2016. That was a rough one. In theory that was not doable.”
Trump further predicted that he will not be convicted on the federal charges stemming from the documents case. He also stressed that he would not accept a plea deal unless he was presented one “where they pay me some damages.”
Newsweek reached out to legal experts via email for insight on how common plea deals with damages payments are, or if such an arrangement is even possible.
The former president added that he does foresee having to pardon himself should he win reelection in 2024, a theory that has been floated by many pundits. His reasoning, however, came down to the fact that he does not believe the charges against him will stick.
“I don’t think I’ll ever have to,” Trump said. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Trump is scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday at a Miami federal court. The hearing will be overseen by Judge Aileen Cannon, whom he appointed to the seat in the final months of his presidency. The judge’s connections to Trump have led many to call for Cannon to recuse herself from the case.
In the aftermath of Thursday’s indictment, Trump issued a call on his Truth Social account for supporters to attend a rally outside of his Tuesday arraignment. Prior to the current situation, he issued a similar call after being indicted on state-level charges in Manhattan in March for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, though the resulting crowd was small. Trump has also maintained his innocence in the case.
Published: 2023-06-11 21:48:18