WINDHAM, N.H. – In his first stop in a crucial early voting state in the Republican presidential nominating calendar since his arraignment in federal court last week, former President Donald Trump blasted the latest federal charges he’s facing, complaining that they’ll keep him off the campaign trail.
Speaking to supporters at a campaign event in Windham, New Hampshire on Tuesday, Trump called his two federal indictments ‘bulls—,’ and blamed President Biden for his legal controversies.
The former president’s stop in New Hampshire came in the wake of his indictment and arraignment last week on charges he attempted to overturn his loss in the 2020 election.
Trump, who’s making his third straight White House run, this spring became the first sitting or former president in U.S. history to be charged with a crime.
And in early June Trump was indicted and arraigned in federal court in Florida on criminal charges that he illegally retained national security records at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, following the end of his term as president and that he obstructed federal efforts to recover the documents.
‘How can my corrupt political opponent, crooked Joe Biden, put me on trial during an election campaign that I’m winning by a lot, but forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trail in order to fight bogus, made-up accusations and charges,’ Trump argued.
‘I’m sorry, I won’t be able to go to Iowa today, I won’t be able to go to New Hampshire today because I’m sitting in a courtroom on bulls— because his attorney general charged me with something,’ Trump claimed.
Trump’s comments sparked chants of ‘bulls—‘ from the crowd of a couple of thousand supporters who were packed into a hot and humid high school gymnasium in this Republican stronghold in southern New Hampshire.
While Trump reiterated his criticism of Biden, the president has largely refrained from discussing Trump’s legal controversies and has repeatedly stressed that he’s had no contact with the Justice Department over the investigations of his predecessor in the White House.
Trump pleaded not guilty in federal court in Washington D.C. last Thursday to four counts: conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
The indictment came after Trump was informed that he was a target in the probe into his actions and state of mind on Jan. 6, 2021, and in the lead-up to that infamous day – when right wing extremists and other Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. The attack temporarily disrupted congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump.
The indictment alleges that Trump pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the 2020 presidential election results and that he corruptly obstructed and impeded the certification of the electoral vote.
Trump railed against the indictments throughout his nearly 90 minute speech and doubled down on his unproven claims that the 2020 election was ‘rigged,’ ‘stolen’ and ‘disgusting.’
Trump also charged that that prosecutors are trying to restrict his rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution, which is an argument that his lawyers in the case have highlighted.
‘You know, they want to take away your freedom of speech,’ the former president argued. ‘The case is a ridiculous case. It’s a First Amendment case. But we don’t want Trump to speak.’
Trump, who’s the commanding front-runner in the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, spotlighted a number of polls that he said showed him way ahead of his rivals. And he said that ‘every time I get indicted, I like to check the polls,’ which elicited laughter from the crowd.
The former president reiterated that ‘one more indictment and I think this election’s over.’
Trump campaign senior adviser in New Hampshire Steve Stepanek told Fox News that when it comes to the former president’s indictments, ‘We ignore it. We are focused on building the ground game and pushing forward and that’s just background noise as far as we’re concerned.’
Stepanek, a co-chair in New Hampshire of Trump’s 2016 campaign who later served as state GOP chairman, said that the indictments get Trump supporters ‘more aggravated and dedicated. Period.’
James Geschwindner, a longtime Trump supporter from Loudon, New Hampshire, told Fox News following the campaign event in Windham that the indictments ‘absolutely’ fuel his support for the former president. ‘There’s no way he doesn’t have my vote.’
Geschwinder said that the indictments are’backfiring. Every time that they attack him, he goes up.’