Trump Gives Grievance-Filled Speech After Arraignment

April 5, 2023

Former President Trump gave a roughly 20-minute oration that was part grievance, part campaign speech and strewn with inaccuracies Tuesday night after being arraigned on multiple felony counts in New York City.

“The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it,” Trump declared. 

Earlier in the day he was arraigned at the criminal courthouse in Manhattan on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and conspiracy related to his role in hush money payments during the 2016 campaign season.

Trump said nothing to the people gathered outside the courthouse before or after being arraigned. He traveled immediately back to his Mar-a-Lago country club residence in Palm Beach, Florida, where he spoke hours later. 

Democrats, he said, had attacked him with “an onslaught of  fraudulent investigations. Russia, Russia, Russia, Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine.” He was likely referring to his first of two impeachments by Congress.

Trump accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of being a “George Soros-backed prosecutor,” which is not accurate. 

Soros has said he has “never met or spoken to Alvin Bragg.” Rather, Trump’s and other Republicans’ criticism appears to stem from the support Bragg received from the racial justice group Color of Change. Soros donated $1 million to this PAC in 2021 along with $7 million to its 501(c)(4) tax-exempt subgroup.

Trump went on about a “nation in decline,” blaming the “radical left” in a speech peppered with false claims.

Among those claims, Trump alleged that he had the right to keep classified documents under the Presidential Records Act. In reality, the Act says that the moment a president leaves office, the National Archives and Records Administration obtain custody and control of all presidential records from that Administration. 

Further, special counsel Jack Smith may be focusing on obstruction in his investigation into Trump’s mishandling of hundreds of documents post-Presidency. According to recent reporting, federal investigators have learned that Trump looked through boxes that contained classified documents after he’d already been subpoenaed to turn them over, hoping to keep some with him—and in fact did hold on to some. 

The criminal charging of a former U.S. President is unprecedented in this country’s history. In breaking precedent, Bragg may have opened the door to future indictments, including the DOJ’s investigation surrounding the classified documents. Further, prosecutors in the federal government and Georgia are separately investigating Trump’s role in attempts to overturn the 2020 Presidential election—including, on the federal level, the deadly insurrection upon the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.


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