Trump says after arraignment: 'This fake case was brought only to interfere' with my 2024 campaign

Trump, the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, says the only criminal is Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for leaking grand jury information

Published: April 4, 2023 8:28pm

Updated: April 4, 2023 9:47pm

In his first speech since his arraignment on Tuesday, former President Trump said the only crime he's ever committed is "fearlessly" defending the U.S.

"I never thought anything like this could happen in America," Trump said from his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida after being arraigned in a Manhattan courtroom earlier in the day. "The only crime I've committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it."

Trump, a 2024 GOP presidential candidate, said the Democrats have been attacking him from day one, naming the Russia collusion probe, two impeachments and the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago for presidential records.

He also said the Democrats and their allies in the media buried the Hunter Biden laptop story during the 2020 election. Trump told the audience that he would have won reelection if the story was not suppressed. He said the FBI knew all along the laptop was legitimate and not Russian disinformation.

Trump attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for campaigning to "get President Trump."

Trump said many Republicans and Democrats do not think the charges against him are valid. 

"This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 presidential election and it should be dropped immediately," he said.

Trump argued that the only criminal is Bragg for leaking grand jury information. He suggested Bragg should resign.

Trump said he's been treated differently when compared to President Biden, who had classified documents "all over the floor" in Delaware while his home at Mar-a-Lago was raided.

"Biden was vice president. He had no right to declassify as vice president," he said. "He's not being harassed and hounded like the people who work for me are."

Trump said that "if you take the worst five presidents in American history and added them up, they wouldn't have done the damage Biden and his administration have done to America."

Despite the "dark cloud" over the country, Trump concluded that he has no doubt "we will make America great again."

Trump is the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges. 

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