Trump Warns ‘America Is Going To Hell’ Following His Arrest

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Donald Trump

In a defiant speech following his arrest in Manhattan, Donald Trump said America is “going to hell”.

After pleading not guilty to falsifying business records to hide damaging information ahead of the 2016 election, the former president said the case against him was “an insult to our country” and insisted he had not committed any crime.

“The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it,” he told supporters gathered at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida after he appeared in court.

He also said that the “fake case” against him was simply part of Democratic plans to interfere with next year’s presidential election, in which he is running.

Biden also admitted to something similar on Monday:

BBC reports: The case against the former president hinges on a hush-money payment of $130,000 (£104,000) made before the 2016 presidential election.

While such a payment is not illegal, the prosecution says Mr Trump falsified business records and broke election laws as he tried to cover up the payments.

His former lawyer, Michael Cohen – who turned against his former boss – has said he made the payment at Mr Trump’s direction.

Each of the charges carries a maximum of four years in prison, although a judge could sentence Mr Trump to probation if he is convicted.

The odds of his being found guilty are so far unclear, but the charges have pulled the country into uncharted political territory.

Mr Trump’s trial could begin as early as January 2024, Judge Merchan said, meaning the Republican could be back in court just as primaries begin to select the party’s nominee.

Prosecutors also pointed to other payments they say were made via an intermediary on behalf of Mr Trump to suppress potentially politically damaging stories.

They allege $30,000 was paid to buy the silence of a doorman at Trump Tower who claimed Mr Trump had a lovechild.

And $150,000 was paid to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who said she had a sexual relationship with Mr Trump.

Prosecutors said both payments were made by the National Enquirer, a US tabloid whose publisher is a long-time ally of Mr Trump.

While a criminal conviction would not prevent Mr Trump from either running for president or from reclaiming the Oval Office, the prolonged legal fight could prove a major distraction for the Republican front-runner and may add a new layer of turmoil to his party’s primary.

Niamh Harris
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