The former president also reacts to new charges in Mar-a-Lago classified documents case
Early Thursday afternoon, Donald Trump talked up the “productive meeting” he said his legal team had had that morning with the DOJ, which had many buzzing about a possibly soon-to-come indictment in special counsel Jack Smith’s probe of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, per the Hill. That indictment didn’t come to pass. Instead, new federal charges were handed down later that day to Trump and two co-defendants in the separate Mar-a-Lago classified documents case (also under Smith’s purview), complete with a new indictment that supersedes the old one—a surprising development that saw Trump’s mood radically shift from Thursday morning.
“It’s election interference at the highest level,” Trump told Fox News Digital after the new charges—which include two new obstruction counts and an additional count of willful retention of national defence information—were announced. “They’re harassing my company, they’re harassing my family and by far, least importantly of all, they’re harassing me.” He then claimed that his 2024 election status, including as front-runner for the GOP nomination, is what’s made him a target. “If I weren’t leading Biden by a lot in numerous polls and wasn’t going to be the Republican nominee, it wouldn’t be happening. It wouldn’t be happening.” He then shrugged and noted, “This is what you get.”
Trump also called Smith “deranged” in a Truth Social post, and on Friday he made an appearance on conservative radio’s John Fredericks Show, where he continued to insist he’d done nothing wrong, and that he’d willingly handed over Mar-a-Lago security footage to Smith’s team, which he and his aides allegedly sought to delete, per the new charges, reports CNBC. “They’re trying to intimidate people so that people go out and makeup lies about me,” he said, repeating a past remark that he’s shielded from wrongdoing by the Presidential Records Act—an assertion that experts have refuted.
As for everyone wondering if these mounting legal issues will deter Trump from making his run for the Oval Office, he said he plans to continue his campaign, even if he’s convicted and sentenced for crimes he’s been accused of. “There’s nothing in the Constitution” to prohibit that, he noted.