After receiving fresh allegations from special counsel Jack Smith the previous day, former president Donald Trump gave an explanation of sorts on Friday.
Smith reportedly filed three new accusations against Trump in the case involving the secret materials on Thursday, stating that he tried to delete security camera footage in order to “alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal evidence” and to persuade someone else to do the same. The New York Times claims that the video purports to show someone transporting crates of paperwork.
As a result of a well-reported event at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, where he is accused of sharing sensitive material with multiple people, Trump is also facing a new count under the Espionage Act.
In a Fox News interview, Trump criticized his political rival’s Justice Department for “abuse” and said, “this is what you get” for being the top Republican challenger to the rapidly aging and scandal-plagued President Joe Biden.
As a result of Smith’s investigation into the alleged unlawful preservation of sensitive records during his presidency, Trump was formally charged in June. He filed a not guilty plea to a total of 37 counts, which include accusations of making false statements, conspiring to obstruct justice, and deliberate retention of national defense information.
The first former president to face federal charges is him.
“It’s election interference at the highest level,” Trump told Fox News Digital after he found out about the latest indictment. “They’re harassing my company, they’re harassing my family, and by far, least importantly of all, they’re harassing me.”
Trump told the outlet that “the charges are ridiculous, and they know it better than anyone.”
“This is prosecutorial misconduct used at a level never seen before,” Trump said. “If I weren’t leading Biden by a lot in numerous polls and wasn’t going to be the Republican nominee, it wouldn’t be happening. It wouldn’t be happening.”
“But I am way up as a Republican and way up in the general election, and this is what you get,” he added, noting further that “our country is suffering from DOJ abuse.”
“Hopefully, the Republican Party will do something about it,” he said.
The Justice Department on Thursday announced that a “superseding indictment was returned by a grand jury in the Southern District of Florida that adds one defendant and four charges to the prior indictment filed against Donald J. Trump and Waltine Nauta.”
“The superseding indictment adds a new Count charging Trump with one additional count of willful retention of National Defense Information,” the DOJ said. “Carlos de Oliveira, 56, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has been added to the obstruction conspiracy charged in the original indictment.”
“The superseding indictment also charges Trump, De Oliveira and Nauta with two new obstruction counts based on allegations that the defendants attempted to delete surveillance video footage at The Mar-a-Lago Club in summer 2022,” the DOJ added.
“Finally, the superseding indictment also charges De Oliveira with false statements and representations in a voluntary interview with the FBI on Jan. 13, 2023,” the DOJ noted further. “De Oliveira has been summoned to appear at 10:30 a.m. on July 31, 2023, in Courtroom #5 at the James L. King Federal Courthouse in Miami.”
In response, a Trump campaign spokesperson told Fox News Digital that “this is nothing more than a continued desperate and flailing attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their Department of Justice to harass President Trump and those around him.”
“Deranged Jack Smith knows that they have no case and is casting about for any way to salvage their illegal witch hunt and to get someone other than Donald Trump to run against Crooked Joe Biden,” the spokesperson noted further.