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Former President Donald Trump responded with an explanation of sorts on Friday after he was hit with new charges from special counsel Jack Smith a day earlier.
On Thursday, according to various reports, Smith filed three additional charges against Trump in the classified documents case, alleging that he attempted to “alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal evidence” and induce someone else to do so by deleting security camera footage. According to The New York Times, the footage allegedly shows someone moving boxes of documents.
In addition, Trump is facing a new count under the Espionage Act regarding a widely publicized incident where he allegedly shared a classified document with several persons at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club.
In an interview with Fox News, Trump ripped his political rival’s Justice Department for “abuse” and said, “this is what you get” for him being the leading GOP opponent to the rapidly aging and scandal-ridden President Joe Biden.
In June, Trump was formally charged as a result of Smith’s investigation into the alleged improper retention of classified records during his presidency. He entered a plea of not guilty to a total of 37 counts, which encompass charges such as willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and making false statements.
He is the first former president to be charged with federal crimes.
“It’s election interference at the highest level,” Trump told Fox News Digital after he found out about the latest indictment. “They’re harassing my company, they’re harassing my family, and by far, least importantly of all, they’re harassing me.”
Trump told the outlet that “the charges are ridiculous, and they know it better than anyone.”
“This is prosecutorial misconduct used at a level never seen before,” Trump said. “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.”
“But I am way up as a Republican and way up in the general election, and this is what you get,” he added, noting further that “our country is suffering from DOJ abuse.”
“Hopefully, the Republican Party will do something about it,” he said.
The Justice Department on Thursday announced that a “superseding indictment was returned by a grand jury in the Southern District of Florida that adds one defendant and four charges to the prior indictment filed against Donald J. Trump and Waltine Nauta.”
“The superseding indictment adds a new Count charging Trump with one additional count of willful retention of National Defense Information,” the DOJ said. “Carlos de Oliveira, 56, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has been added to the obstruction conspiracy charged in the original indictment.”
“The superseding indictment also charges Trump, De Oliveira and Nauta with two new obstruction counts based on allegations that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage at The Mar-a-Lago Club in summer 2022,” the DOJ added.
“Finally, the superseding indictment also charges De Oliveira with false statements and representations in a voluntary interview with the FBI on Jan. 13, 2023,” the DOJ noted further. “De Oliveira has been summoned to appear at 10:30 a.m. on July 31, 2023, in Courtroom #5 at the James L. King Federal Courthouse in Miami.”
In response, a Trump campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital that “this is nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their Department of Justice to harass President Trump and those around him.”
“Deranged Jack Smith knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against Crooked Joe Biden,” the spokesperson noted further.