After DC court appearance to hear Jan. 6 charges, Trump claims it’s political persecution

Washington, Aug 3 (EFE).- Former President Donald Trump on Thursday claimed once again that he is being subjected to political persecution after having appeared in a Washington DC federal court to hear the criminal charges against him in the case regarding his alleged attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden.

“This is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America,” Trump claimed in remarks to reporters at Washington’s Ronald Reagan International Airport, on the outskirts of the capital, after pleading not guilty to each of the four charges he is facing for allegedly trying to reverse the result of the 2020 election.

With a disgruntled expression on his face, Trump complained that he is being persecuted for being far ahead in the voter opinion polls for next year’s Republican primaries to choose the GOP presidential candidate for the November 2024 election, and also – he said – for being ahead of Biden in the polls of both Democrats and Republicans.

He said that “It was also very sad driving through Washington DC and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti.”

“This is not the place that I left” in January 2021, when he left office, the former president noted before boarding his personal plane, Trump Force One, and departing for his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club.

Trump on Thursday before Federal Judge Moxila Upadhyaya pleaded not guilty to the four federal criminal charges levied against him for allegedly trying to reverse the result of the 2020 election.

The four federal criminal charges Trump is facing in the case include conspiring to defraud the US, conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding, obstructing and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiring to deprive voters of their civil rights.

If found guilty on the first count, the ex-president could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison, for each of the second and third counts a maximum of 20 years behind bars and for the fourth count 10 years.

The indictment, signed by special counsel Jack Smith, charges Trump with knowingly spreading lies that massive voter fraud occurred during the November 2020 election and that Biden’s win was illegitimate, and – moreover – devising a scheme with assorted collaborators to enlist fake election officials to declare that he won the vote in key states where he actually lost, a move that was designed to ensure his win in the Electoral College.

The judge on Thursday agreed to release the former president from custody, after establishing the conditions for his release, and went on to set the next hearing in the case for August 28.

The former president is facing charges for his actions relating to events that occurred between the Nov. 3, 2020, general election and after Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of his followers assaulted and broke into the US Capitol, where the full Congress was assembled and preparing to ratify Biden’s election win.

This is the third criminal indictment for Trump, who earlier this year was also charged in New York for allegedly paying hush money to porn actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election to buy her silence about their alleged affair years before and in Florida for illegally removing and retaining classified White House documents at his posh Mar-a-Lago resort club and residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

EFE ssa-aaca/bp

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