Washington, Jun 10 (EFE).- Former US President Donald Trump slammed his indictment in the classified documents case as “ridiculous and baseless” at a Republican convention in Georgia state on Saturday.
In his first public appearance after being indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate, Trump portrayed himself as a victim to hundreds of supporters.
“The ridiculous and baseless indictment by the Biden administration’s weaponized Department of Injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country,” the former president said in a speech full of unsubstantiated claims.
Trump’s supporters, many wearing his “Make America great again” red baseball caps, responded to his words with applause and booed when he mentioned US president, Democrat Joe Biden.
Biden, who has already announced that he will run for re-election in 2024, has not yet commented on Trump’s indictment, the second after he was indicted in March over tax fraud charges.
Trump’s appearance on Saturday was the first since his indictment in the classified documents case was made public the previous day, detailing the 37 criminal charges he faces for violating seven federal laws for his alleged mishandling of classified documents.
Those documents were kept in several different locations in Trump’s mansion, including a bedroom, a ballroom and a bathroom, photos included in the indictment show.
Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, all of a president’s documents are the public property of the US government and should be turned over to the National Archives at the end of the presidential term.
A few months after Trump left the White House, the National Archives discovered that some classified documents created during his presidency were missing and asked him to turn them in.
After Trump failed to return the documents, the FBI opened a criminal investigation into the matter.
In August 2022, the FBI conducted a raid at the former president’s mansion to seize the boxes of classified documents that were still in his custody.
Despite the FBI’s intervention, according to the indictment, Trump may have endangered national security not only because the documents were not stored securely, but also because he showed them to people not authorized to see them.
In 2021, Trump gave an interview to a writer and allegedly showed him a “plan of attack” against a country.
He also showed a classified map pertaining to a military operation to a person linked to his election campaign.
The former president, who has been summoned to a federal court in Miami on Tuesday to be arraigned on the charges, is favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination for the 2024 election. EFE