Trump attacks ‘sick’ opponents in ‘unfair’ trial

Donald Trump attacked “sick” and “fascist” opponents in rambling and angry comments on Friday, after what he called a “very unfair” trial that made him the first former US president to become a convicted criminal.

The 77-year-old Republican, neck and neck with President Joe Biden in the race for the White House in 2024, confirmed he would appeal the verdict, which he called a “scam.”

Trump spoke at what was billed as a news conference in the upscale lobby of his iconic Trump Tower property in Manhattan.

But after taking the podium, he launched into an extraordinary 35 minutes of insults, non-factual assertions and meaningless remarks that reflected his seething anger. He then left without answering any questions.

Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over his trial, is a “tyrant,” Trump said, saying Merchan “literally crucified” the witnesses.

“This man who looks like an angel, but he is actually a devil,” he declared in these remarks broadcast live by all the major American television channels.

In his first brief comments since Thursday’s verdict, Biden posted on X that Trump was “threatening democracy” by attacking the US justice system.

And Biden’s campaign released a scathing statement describing Trump as “confused, hopeless and defeated.”

“This man cannot be president,” the campaign said.

– Conviction on July 11 —

In his speech, Trump often avoided commenting on the trial of attacks on Biden and illegal immigrants, who he said spoke “unknown languages” and included many terrorists, as well as “many people” released from prison.

“They’re coming to our country from all over the world, and we have a president and a bunch of fascists who don’t want to do anything about it, because they could now. Today he could stop it. But that doesn’t is not the case. They are destroying our country,” Trump said.

A jury on Thursday found Trump guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide a hush money payment intended to keep porn star Stormy Daniels from going public with an alleged sexual encounter he feared was fatal to his 2016 presidential campaign.

Prosecutors successfully presented a case alleging that the hush money and illegal concealment of the payment were part of a broader crime aimed at keeping voters from knowing about Trump’s behavior just as he was preparing to vote. take on Hillary Clinton.

Trump faces potential prison time, but he is much more likely to receive probation.

Merchan set sentencing for July 11, four days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where Trump is to receive the official party nomination.

– Electoral earthquake –

Although the verdict does not prevent Trump from continuing his election campaign, it plunges the already tense contest into even more unpredictable waters.

Trump’s campaign immediately launched a fundraising appeal after the verdict, with a photo of the 77-year-old and the assertion: “I am a political prisoner!”

According to the campaign, $34.8 million in donations poured in, crashing the website.

“Just minutes after the show trial verdict was announced, our digital fundraising system was overwhelmed,” the campaign says.

In addition to the New York case, Trump faces three far more serious criminal indictments for his attempts to overturn his 2020 election defeat to Biden and for hoarding top-secret documents in his home in Florida.

However, it is unlikely that these cases will be decided before the November elections.

– Biden’s caution –

So far, Biden has been cautious about making Trump’s multiple legal difficulties an election issue. As president, he is keen to avoid giving ammunition to Republicans who claim he is interfering in the justice system.

Aside from the brief attack on Trump on X – part of a fundraising appeal – Biden has yet to speak about the verdict.

His public schedule is packed on Friday, including talks with the Belgian prime minister, a celebration for the NFL’s Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and a White House speech on the Middle East.

A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, whose rule has seen dozens of political opponents, journalists and human rights activists murdered, said the jury trial was a “de facto elimination of political rivals “.

“I would say this is a classic case of projection,” retorted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, while attending a NATO meeting in Prague.

In Italy, far-right Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said Trump was a “victim of judicial harassment.”