Trump says prosecutor leaked grand jury info, should be indicted
Trump delivered a passionate speech at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday following his arraignment over 34 felony charges of falsifying business records. In an address to his supporters, Trump called New York Judge Juan Merchan, a Trump-hater and accused “criminal” DA Alvin Bragg of leaking Grand Jury info to the public.
“The criminal is the district attorney because he illegally leaked massive amounts of Grand Jury information for which he should be prosecuted, or at a minimum, he should resign,” Trump claimed.
“I never thought anything like this could happen in America. The only crime that I've committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it” he added.
Trump expressed great frustration over the case and promised to fight the charges, despite a threat from Merchan to “use his words carefully” or risk a gag order.
The crowd, reportedly, was not pleased with Trump’s comments, as it could lead to him being prevented from discussing any case-related legal matters and potentially block him from social media.
Calling Everyone Out
Trump appeared to accuse both Merchan and Bragg of bias, suggesting that the ongoing investigation will not be done fairly.
In one instance, he called Merchan a “Trump-hating judge with a Trump-hating wife,” suggesting corruption since his daughter, Loren Merchan, worked for Kamala Harris.
Loren is a partner and president of Authentic Campaigns and has worked on various high-profile Democratic campaigns — including one for President Biden.
Bragg and his wife Jamila were also targeted, and not for the first time. Trump reportedly blasted her on social media after she posted several negative comments about the former President. Jamila has since locked her account.
Former Attorney General William Barr, despite agreeing that the case is “deeply flawed,” thinks that Trump is not wise to attack the judge as it will make things worse.
“I don’t think it is appropriate or wise. The president notoriously lacks self-control and he frequently gets himself into trouble,” Barr said.
Speaking of the case specifically, Barr added, “I don’t think it has any merit. I think it is transparently an abuse of prosecutorial power to accomplish a political end. I think it is an unjust case. That’s not to say that every legal challenge that the president faces is unjustified. But this one especially is.”
The next hearing in the case is set for December 4th, where it will be determined whether the case goes to trial or is dismissed. The hearing will happen just two months ahead of the Republican primaries, worrying Trump supporters about how it could impact his chances of reelection.
Barr believes the legal issues will continue well into 2024. He also stated that while the situation can help him in the primaries, it will do him no favors in the general election.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie agreed, “No matter what he says and his people say, being indicted is not good for a political candidate.”
Another notable observation from the event was the absence of Trump’s wife Melania, leading some to believe she is staying away because of the nature of Trump’s indictment.
One of the charges against Trump concerns $130,000 in hush-money paid to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels over her alleged affair with the former president. A similar charge involves former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Others, however, point out that she has already shown her support, as right after the indictment they enjoyed a public dinner at their usual table at Mar-a-Lago.
Ivanka Trump was also not present at her father’s arraignment, but she had already made it clear back in December that she had no plans to participate in her father’s “new chapter.”
With the exception of Barron, who is rarely seen at his father’s political events, Trump’s other children including Don Jr., Eric, and Tiffany, were present.