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Donald Trump labels 'sham' indictment 'another attempt to rig and steal an election' after historic court appearance
14 June 2023, 01:58 | Updated: 14 June 2023, 19:34
Donald Trump has addressed a rally in New Jersey just hours after his historic court appearance, telling supporters that his indictment is "another attempt to rig and steal an election".
The former US President faces dozens of charges accusing him of illegally hoarding classified documents, including those related to nuclear secrets.
He also stands accused of thwarting the US Justice Department's efforts to get the classified documents back.
Speaking to a rally in New Jersey at around 9pm local time, Mr Trump said: "Today, we witnessed the most evil and heinous abuse of power in the history of our country."
The former president claimed that his latest indictment was "another attempt to rig and steal an election" and that it was "straight out of a fascist or communist nation".
"Biden will be remembered as the most corrupt president," he added.
Mr Trump then told the crowd: "We will win bigger and better than before."
Mr Trump also used his speech in New Jersey to continue to protest his innocence, telling the crowd that he had "every right" to the classified documents that were found.
"They are threatening me with 400 years in prison for possessing my own presidential papers," he said.
"Whatever documents the president decides to take with him, he has the right to do so - it is an absolute right.
"They've got to drop this case immediately as it is destroying the county."
He added that photos of the classified documents in his Mar-a-Lago property were staged.
Today, June 14, also happens to be Mr Trump's birthday, with the crowd at his New Jersey rally breaking into song to celebrate.
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Meanwhile, during an impromptu visit to a local bakery in Little Havana, Mr Trump said that the US was "rigged".
"We have a country that's corrupt, we have a country that's got no borders, we have a country that's got nothing but problems," Mr Trump said.
"We're a nation in decline and then they do this stuff.
"We love the people and you see the crowds, we have a country that's in decline like never before and we can't let it happen.
"I'm going to make a little speech tonight in Bedminster, I hope you're going to be there."
As expected, the former president denied the 37 charges that stand against him.
During Mr Trump's historic court appearance, on Mr Trump's behalf, Todd Blanche entered the plea.
"We are certainly entering a plea of not guilty," Mr Blanche told the courtroom.
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During his drive to the courthouse, Mr Trump shared his fury over his court appearance, writing a Truth Social post saying: "ON MY WAY TO COURTHOUSE. WITCH HUNT!!! MAGA."
The department published photos last week showing documents stashed inside his bathroom at his Mar-a-Lago estate.
Meanwhile, Alina Habba, a spokeswoman and lawyer for Mr Trump, defended the disgraced president outside shortly before her client's proceedings began.
"The decision to pursue charges against President Trump, while turning a blind eye to others, is emblematic of the corruption that we have here," she said.
"We are at a turning point in our nation’s history (with) the targeting prosecution of a leading political opponent."
Ms Habba likened her client's situation to one that would be seen in Cuba, saying Americans should be "terrified".
Mr Trump's aide Walt Nauta, who is charged in the indictment as Trump's co-conspirator, was also processed.
Proceedings in court started at around 3pm local time - 8pm in the UK.
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