On Tuesday (June 13), former President Donald Trump described himself as a victim of “selective and politically motivated” prosecution hours before appearing in a Miami Federal Court to plead not guilty to 37 counts relating to an investigation into his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
The former President provided several misleading or inaccurate defenses to his supporters at his Bedminster, N.J. golf club.
He began by comparing his own handling of classified material to how other Presidents have handled sensitive documents and argued that his indictment was an attempt to damage his 2024 presidential campaign.
“This is called election interference,” Trump declares, suggesting the federal indictment was “another attempt to rig and steal a presidential election.”
He continued, describing the federal indictment as “political persecution,” relaying that it mimicked what would be expected in a “fascist or communist nation.”
“This day will go down in infamy, and Joe Biden will forever be remembered as the most corrupt President” in U.S. history.
The remarks offered a likely roadmap for how Trump and his team will handle the allegations.
Trump described Biden as a “corrupt sitting President” and called Jack Smith, the special counsel who led the investigation into his conduct, a “thug” and a “raging lunatic.”
Trump has argued that his right to keep any documents he wants is enshrined in the Presidential Records Act, even though, by law, all presidential records belong to the federal government when the President leaves office.
He also maintained his innocence by comparing himself to former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and President Joe Biden, who all have not received legal sanctions for handling classified material.