Donald Trump is set to deliver his first public address on Saturday in Columbus, Georgia, following the announcement of his federal indictment this week.
The former president is scheduled to take the stage at the state GOP convention in Georgia in the afternoon before heading to Greensboro, North Carolina, for another address in the evening.
Trump’s two speeches had been planned before the justice department indicted him on Thursday evening with 37 criminal charges regarding his alleged illegal retention of classified government documents after leaving office in 2021.
According to advisers who spoke with the Washington Post, Trump is expected to launch a tirade against the FBI and the justice department over his prosecution, which he has repeatedly called a “witch-hunt” and a “hoax”.
The sweeping indictment which was unsealed on Friday accuses Trump of mishandling classified documents as well as obstructing justice, making him the first US president to be federally indicted.
According to the indictment, Trump stored classified documents in “a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom, and a storage room” at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
It also added that Trump directed Walt Nauta, his valet and aide, to move boxes of records to “conceal them from Trump’s attorney, the FBI, and the grand jury”. Nauta also faces a count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, said the indictment.
The documents that Trump allegedly possessed “included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack, and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack,” said the indictment.
Thursday’s indictment comes just two months after a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump for his alleged role in a hush-money payment scandal involving the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Trump, who has repeatedly maintained his innocence, lashed out against the latest indictment on Thursday night. In a video released on his social media platform Truth Social, the GOP’s most popular presidential candidate said, “It is election interference at the highest level … I’m an innocent man, I’m an innocent person … we’ll fight this out.”
He then turned to his supporters for money, writing in an email on Friday morning, “Please make a contribution to peacefully DEFEND our movement from the never-ending witch hunts – and together, even during these darkest of times, we will prove that our movement is truly UNBREAKABLE.”
Trump is expected to appear in a federal court in Miami on Tuesday and may face prison if convicted.
Published: 2023-06-10 15:50:10