Trump blasts ‘Biden trials,’ says president is weaponizing DOJ to ‘try to knock out’ his ‘political opponent’

Former President Trump blasted his legal challenges as “election interference” on Monday, accusing President Biden of “weaponization of our government to try to knock out” his “political opponent,” while vowing to continue to fight to push off the trial date in the Manhattan district attorney’s case against him.Trump, the presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee, held a press conference Monday afternoon in downtown Manhattan shortly after a New York Appeals Court slashed the bond due in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ case by more than half, and after a trial date was set in the case brought against him by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.Trump took questions from reporters at 40 Wall St.TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL TO BEGIN APRIL 15, JUDGE RULES, DENYING MOTION TO DELAY”We’re going through this weaponization of our government to try and knock out somebody’s political opponent,” Trump said, calling all the cases “Biden trials.” “And so far, based on the polls, it’s not working at all. The people understand that,” Trump said. Trump’s press conference also comes after he sat in a Manhattan courtroom for hours Monday morning in the case brought by Bragg. The judge presiding over that case, Judge Juan Merchan, denied Trump’s motion to further delay the hush-money payments trial. Merchan announced the trial will begin on April 15. The trial was initially set to begin Monday — March 25 — but Merchan pushed jury selection to mid-April after the Justice Department turned over more than 15,000 records of potential evidence from a previous federal investigation. Merchan wanted to give the defense time to go through those documents. “I don’t know how you can have a trial like this in the middle of an election, a presidential election. And this is again, this is a Biden trial,” Trump said. “These are all Biden trials.” Trump accused prosecutor Matthew Colangelo of working for Biden. “Can you imagine? They take a guy out of DOJ and they put him into the attorney general’s office and then into the Manhattan DA’s office to go after Trump,” Trump said. “These are all Biden trials.” Colangelo worked at the Justice Department under the Biden administration. TRUMP’S $454M JUDGMENT BOND SLASHED BY MORE THAN HALF IN APPEALS COURT RULINGTrump added: “I don’t know that you’re going to have it. I think we’re going to get some good rulings.” When asked if he would testify in the Bragg trial, which is currently set for April 15, Trump said: “I would have no problem testifying. I didn’t do anything wrong.” Trump was asked if a “conviction” could cost him the 2024 election, but he rejected that notion, saying a trial “could make me more popular because the people know it’s a scam.” “It’s a Biden trial. This is a Biden. There is no trial. There’s a Biden trial,” he said. “This is all done by the Democrat Party, and it’s all done by Biden and his group.” Trump, in a swipe at Biden, added: “I don’t know if it’s Biden because I don’t know if Biden has even sharpened. I don’t know if Biden knows what’s happening. You want to know the truth? Maybe he does. He probably does.” “But this is all done by Biden and the thugs that work for Biden,” Trump continued. “And it’s a very bad thing. It’s a very dangerous thing for our country.” Bragg indicted Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.Bragg alleged that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal criminal conduct that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”The charges are related to alleged hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign.In 2019, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted not to charge Trump related to the payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.Meanwhile, before the press conference, Trump said he would abide by the New York Appeals ruling, which requires him to pay $175 million bond in 10 days. The deadline for Trump to post the initial judgment set by Judge Arthur Engoron of $454 million was Monday at 11:59 p.m. Engoron made the ruling in February, after a months-long non-jury civil fraud trial. “I respect the appellate division for substantially reducing that ridiculous amount of money that was put on by a corrupt judge named Engoron. And he has to be looked at, seriously, looked at, especially what he did with valuations,” Trump said, adding that Engoron is “the one he’s a fraudulent evaluator where he values Mar-A-Lago at $18 million.” “And people say it’s worth 50 to 100 times that much. The biggest experts in the business. So he ought to be looked at and James ought to be looked at because she tried to get him. She’s like the puppet master of the judge,” Trump said, adding that Engoron and James are practicing “lawfare.” A spokesperson for James on Monday said Trump “is still facing accountability for his staggering fraud.” “The court has already found that he engaged in years of fraud to falsely inflate his net worth and unjustly enrich himself, his family, and his organization,” James’ spokesperson said. “The $464 million judgment – plus interest – against Donald Trump and the other defendants still stands.”Trump, though, stressed that the cases against him are “run by Biden and his thugs.” “The only way they think they can get elected,” Trump said. “And I think, so far, it’s backfiring, because the people of this country understand it–it’s backfiring.” Trump called all of the cases against him “ridiculous.” “This is all weaponization of DOJ and FBI,” Trump said. “They raided my house in violation of a thing called the Fourth Amendment. Not allowed to do that. They raided my house in Florida, Mar-a-Lago. No notice, no nothing. They raided it. I can’t believe it. Nobody can believe it.” Trump was referring to the FBI’s raid on his home in August 2022 as part of the DOJ’s investigation into his alleged improper retention of classified records. Trump pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from that case, which is led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. “We’ll see how that all works out in the end. But it’s illegal what they’re doing,” Trump said. “It’s criminal what they’re doing, and it’s never been done before in this country.”
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