News USA Trump says in Waco, Texas, that investigations against him are “politically motivated”

Trump says in Waco, Texas, that investigations against him are “politically motivated”

(CNN) — Former US President Donald Trump baselessly criticized what he called “prosecutor misconduct” at a campaign rally on Saturday night in Texas, denying any wrongdoing amid ongoing investigations. out in New York, Georgia and Washington.

During the event, Trump repeatedly referred to the investigations as politically motivated efforts to hinder his 2024 presidential bid but did not reveal any evidence about it.

“Prosecutor misconduct is their new tool and they are willing to use it at levels never seen before in our country. We’ve had it, but we’ve never had it like this,” he said. “We must stop them and we must not allow them to go through another election where they have yet another tool in their toolbox.”

Behind Trump, supporters waved signs printed by the Trump campaign that read: “Witch hunt.”

Trump called the investigations “nonsense” and said that local prosecutors in Manhattan and Fulton County are the “minions” of national Democrats.

“Our opponents have done everything possible to crush our spirit and break our will,” he said. “But they have failed. They have only made us stronger.”

The rally at Waco Regional Airport was a return to mega-events reminiscent of Trump’s 2016 and 2020 campaigns, as the Republican field for the 2024 presidential race begins to take shape.

The return of the former president to his favorite stage occurs while he is facing investigations in New York City for the alleged payment to silence a person; in Georgia over his efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election; and by Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith for classified FBI documents found at his Mar-A-Lago residence, as well as his attempts to steal the 2020 presidential election and his role in the insurrection of January 6, 2021.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into Trump’s role in an alleged hush money payment scheme to adult film star Stormy Daniels is believed to be nearing its final stage. Trump, on his Truth Social social network, predicted his own arrest, warning that it would lead to “potential death and destruction” and “could be catastrophic for our country.”

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen admitted paying Daniels $130,000 just before the 2016 election to prevent her from going public with an alleged affair with the now-former president.

Trump denied the affair and denied it again Saturday night, referring to Daniels in derogatory terms.

The Manhattan grand jury commissioned on this case did not conclude this week.

In other investigations, Trump’s defense attorney Evan Corcoran appeared before a federal grand jury in Washington on Friday, where he was expected to answer questions in the investigation of classified documents that the former president fought unsuccessfully to contain. And a federal judge has ordered several former Trump aides, including former White House Secretary General Mark Meadows, to testify before a grand jury as part of the criminal investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

At the rally, Trump also attacked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who appears to be inching toward his own presidential bid, and early polls suggest he could be a formidable contender.

He took credit for DeSantis’ victory in the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race. DeSantis won re-election in a landslide last year, despite a worse-than-expected performance by Republicans across the country. He also said DeSantis deserved little credit for Florida, which he said “has been successful for decades” thanks to previous Republican governors.

Trump also said that DeSantis was too aggressive in taking public safety measures early in the coronavirus pandemic, and that other Republican executives in states like South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee had done better.

“I’m not a big fan,” Trump said of the Florida governor. “He is a disciple of Paul Ryan. … That’s why he wanted to cut Social Security and Medicare.”

Trump supporters believe investigations are politically motivated

Ahead of Trump’s rally in Waco, many Trump supporters argued Saturday that if the former president is impeached, it would only improve his chances of retaking the White House in 2024, with some extending Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the Manhattan district attorney It is politically motivated.

“If 100 million people are going to vote for him, if he’s impeached, 120 million people are going to vote for him because they just can’t keep taking down an honest man,” said Mike Gilbert, who was one of thousands in line hours earlier. of the Trump rally.

Another supporter, Debby Cravey, said Trump would be a presidential candidate even if he is impeached.

“One hundred percent. If they do that, it’s going to be a favorite,” Cravey said.

See the changes in position of Donald Trump’s lawyer on the Stormy Daniels case 1:30

Bobby Wilson, along with more than a dozen Trump supporters interviewed by CNN on Saturday, commented that if Trump were impeached, he would not change his opinion or support for Trump at all and would still vote for him in 2024.

“It doesn’t change anything about his integrity and everything else. We all have sin. We all have some things we’ve done,” Wilson said.

Todd Castro claimed that the investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s office amounted to “manhunt.”

“The way I see it, it will make it even stronger,” Castro said. “He’ll get more press time, his face will be on more often and all that, and Trump is a fighter, so he’ll get over it.”

The Waco rally comes 30 years after the raid by federal and state law enforcement on the Branch Davidian Doomsday cult compound in Waco, a 51-day siege that resulted in the deaths of 86 people and has since come to be seen on the far right as a symbol of government overreach.

Trump did not link the campaign rally to the siege of Waco, and a spokesman for the former president said Saturday that Waco was chosen as the rally site because of its central location. The location is accessible to many of Texas’ population centers, less than a three-hour drive from Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

“This is the ideal location for the largest number of supporters from across the state and neighboring states to attend this historic rally,” Trump spokesman Steven Cheung said in a statement.

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