Former President Donald Trump acknowledged to a “crime” after being arraigned on 34 criminal counts in a Manhattan courtroom.
However, he did not enter a guilty plea to the charges filed by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Trump characterized Bragg’s indictment as an effort to criminalize his constitutional civil rights, which include his presidency.
“The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it,” Trump said.
TRUMP: "The only crime that I have committed is to fiercely defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it." pic.twitter.com/LOctyjuaqp
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) April 5, 2023
The former president and top contender for the Republican presidential nomination is charged with 34 counts of falsifying company documents related to payments allegedly made to women who claim to have had relationships with Trump.
Trump pled not guilty to the criminal charges at his court hearing in Manhattan.
Trump inside the courtroom
News outlets will not be allowed to broadcast the arraignment, but five still photographers are allowed to take photos ahead of the proceedings.
📸 Ed Jones/AFP; Seth Wenig/AP. pic.twitter.com/r5FyHAkXB1
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) April 4, 2023
After coming home to his Mar-a-Lago Club residence in Palm Beach County, Florida, on Tuesday evening, Trump made public statements.
He linked the accusations made by Bragg, a Democrat whose campaign was funded by the far-left billionaire George Soros, to prior Democratic attempts to ruin his administration and political career.
“I never thought anything like this could happen in America,” Trump said.
“From the beginning, Democrats spied on my campaign, remember that?” he said. “They attacked me with an onslaught of investigations. Russia, Russia, Russia. Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine. Impeachment hoax number one. Impeachment hoax number two.
“The illegal and unconstitutional raid on Mar-a-Lago.”
The litany continued, addressing the 2020 election and revealing how the FBI coordinated with Twitter and Facebook to influence press coverage of the Hunter Biden laptop incident. Trump stated that the Bragg legal ploy is only the latest one.
The allegations against Trump constitute a new historical benchmark.
Trump’s predecessors have never been charged with a crime or convicted of one.
According to Reuters, Trump could be sentenced to more than 100 years in a New York jail if he is finally convicted on the charges against him.