Authored by Jack Phillips via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Former President Donald Trump revealed whether he will drop out of the 2024 race if he is convicted in connection to a Department of Justice case over whether he mishandled classified documents.
In an interview with Politico, the 45th president and current GOP frontrunner was asked about if he would drop out of the race if he is convicted in the case. Trump stated that he believes he won’t be convicted and doesn’t plan on taking a plea deal with prosecutors.
“I’ll never leave,” Trump told the outlet. “Look, if I would have left, I would have left prior to the original race in 2016. That was a rough one. In theory that was not doable.”
The indictment unsealed Friday charges Trump with willfully defying Justice Department demands that he return classified documents, enlisting aides in his efforts to hide the records, and allegedly telling his lawyers that he wanted to defy a subpoena for the materials stored at his residence. The indictment includes allegations that he stored documents in a ballroom and bathroom at his Mar-a-Lago resort, among other places.
The 49-page indictment centers on hundreds of classified documents that Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago upon leaving office in January 2021. Even as “tens of thousands of members and guests” visited Mar-a-Lago between the end of Trump’s presidency and August 2022, when the FBI obtained a search warrant, documents were recklessly stored in spaces including a “ballroom, a bathroom and shower, and office space, his bedroom, and a storage room.”
The indictment claims that, for a two-month period between January and March 15, 2021, some of Trump’s boxes were stored in one of Mar-a-Lago’s gilded ballrooms. A picture included in the indictment shows boxes stacked in rows on the ballroom’s stage.
Special counsel Jack Smith, whose presented charges against Trump were approved by a grand jury, said in prepared remarks from Washington that “our laws that protect national defense information are critical to the safety and security of the United States and they must be enforced” and “violations of those laws put our country at risk.”
He added, “We have one set of laws in this country, and they apply to everyone,” but added the caveat that Trump and others “must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
Trump is due to make his first federal court appearance Tuesday in Miami. He was charged alongside valet Walt Nauta, a personal aide whom prosecutors say moved boxes from a storage room to Trump’s residence for him to review and later lied to investigators about the movement. Nauta traveled with Trump on Saturday, appearing by his side at a Georgia Waffle House stop where the former president signed autographs, posed for photos, and told supporters, “We did absolutely nothing wrong.”
“The ridiculous and baseless indictment by the Biden administration’s weaponized Department of Injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country,” Trump told reporters in a campaign stop.
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