Donald Trump: “If they did this to me, they can do this to anybody” | USA Elections

In the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, symbol of his financial power that led him into politics, former president and convicted felon Donald Trump held a press conference this Friday – a monologue, rather – a few hours after the jury Stormy Daniels case He was found guilty of 34 charges levelled against him for manipulating accounting records of bribe payments to a porn actress for electoral purposes. “If they do this to me, they can do this to anybody,” was the first sentence of his brief appearance, placing himself not only above the rest of his fellow citizens, but also above the law.

The Republican candidate did not offer a single new argument, not even criticism, of what was heard during the six weeks of the trial. He attacked everyone: against the judge, against President Joe Biden, “a real threat to our country”, against the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol, whose members he called “thugs”, against immigrants, against tax pressure and even against electric vehicles. “We live in a fascist and corrupt state,” he declared.

The Republican described the criminal trial, the first of four he faces – three cases are pending in Washington, Georgia and Florida – as “very unfair.” “As far as trials go, it was very unfair. We were not allowed to use our election expert under any circumstances. “They saw what happened to some of the witnesses on our side, they were literally crucified,” he said before a lectern decorated with the logo of his electoral campaign and surrounded by a series of American flags: It is impossible to distinguish whether the Donald Trump who appeared before the media was a man convicted by justice or a former president who seeks to be re-elected in November.

Trump criticized Judge Juan Merchan, saying that “he looks like an angel, but he’s really a demon.” “There has never been a more confrontational judge. Now, I’m under a gag order (gag order) that no one has been under before, no presidential candidate has been under a gag order before.” With his usual hurried syntax, full of repetitions, he said: “I’m under a gag order, obnoxious gag order, in which I’m fined thousands of dollars and threatened with jail,” he said. During the trial, he was convicted of contempt twice for a total of $10,000, and warned that he would go to jail if he persisted in criticizing witnesses and judicial officials.

Regarding the crimes he was prosecuted for, 34 counts of falsifying accounting records to conceal bribes intended to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, he said: “Falsifying business records: it feels very bad, it makes me feel very bad. It’s something bad to me, it’s never happened to me,” he admitted, repeating, as his lawyers had said at the trial – the Republican refused to testify, although today he has assured that giving false testimony would not matter – that the reimbursement of the bribe paid to his lawyer Michael Cohen for advancing Stormy Daniels $130,000 was in fact a legal expense. “An accountant correctly marked it on the books as legal expenses,” Trump said. “What would you call that if not?” In addition, he stressed, that the discovery was made without his knowledge. Regarding the payment and the confidentiality agreement signed by the woman upon receiving it, he described it as “perfectly legal”.

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In fact, Cohen received $420,000: the full amount of the bribe he paid Daniels in October 2016, a few weeks before the election, so that she would not be harmed by the revelations of the scandal in the election; plus a bonus and taxes. Regarding his former confidant, whom he could not mention directly because the gag order prevents him from doing so, he did not hold back criticism: “He was a highly qualified lawyer. Now I am not allowed to use his name because of the gag order. But you know, he is a crook. Everybody knows it. It took me a while to find it, but it was effective. ” Trump said of his ex, “He got into trouble not because of me, but because of him.” become a progress broker (Resolver). “He got into trouble because he did deals outside and he had something to do with taxis and licensees who were lending him money.” Cohen, the prosecution’s key witness, was investigated in 2018 over one of his companies in the industry and irregular licensing, as recalled in the trial.

Pending the appeal, Trump continues to blame the Democrats for his judicial failures. Those responsible for the conviction are the “bad people” whom he has accused of inciting justice against him to derail his electoral campaign, which broke fundraising records this Thursday due to the verdict – almost 35 million in a few hours. Instead of attacking Biden, as he has done repeatedly in his daily appearances before the media, at the entrances and exits of each session of the trial, this Friday he attacked Judge Merchan, whom he accused of being “highly conflicted.” For several reasons: Merchan, along with Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg, are the only people who are left out of the gag order and, therefore, could be the target of Trump’s criticism. Another reason is the connection of the judge’s daughter, Lauren Merchan, to a company that advises the Democrats. Due to its context, the judge expanded the restrictions of the gag order in April. It is expected that in its appeal to the appeals court, Trump’s defense will emphasize this alleged involvement, although given the outcome of the verdict, it was insufficient to cast doubt on the seven men and five women on the jury.

In his usual majestic tone, Trump assured that he would continue with his political plans despite the sentence. “I don’t mind exposing myself because there is a lot to do for this country. It’s bigger than Trump, bigger than my presidency,” he said. “We will continue fighting. “We are going to make the United States great again, because we are in serious trouble,” he said, without being relevant, introducing one of the favorite themes of his campaign: his promise to end irregular immigration, the indiscriminate entry of “crazy and criminals”, especially the hordes of Venezuelans who live in “luxury hotels” provided by the “Democrats”, that is, Biden, and the “band of fascists” who support him to keep the border between the United States and Mexico open. To prevent the “invasion” of citizens of three countries – he explicitly referred to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Venezuela and China – “November 5th will be the most important day in the history of our country,” he concluded, without answering questions from the media.

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