Former US president and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump gestures as he leaves after speaking at the North Carolina Republican Party Convention in Greensboro, North Carolina, on June 10, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)
WASHINGTON - Former US president Donald Trump on Saturday called the sweeping federal indictment against him "ridiculous" and "baseless."
Trump has been charged with 37 felony counts alleging that he stored classified documents at his Florida estate after leaving the White House.
The classified documents Trump “stored in his boxes included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attacks; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack"
He blasted the indictment as an attempt to damage his chances of winning a second presidential term when he made speeches at Republican state conventions in Georgia and North Carolina, his first public appearances after the indictment made public on Friday.
According to the indictment, the classified documents Trump “stored in his boxes included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attacks; and plans for possible retaliation in response to a foreign attack."
The unauthorized disclosure of these classified documents could put at risk the national security of the United States, foreign relations, the safety of the US military and human sources, and the continued viability of sensitive intelligence collection methods, it said.
The indictment alleged that Trump stored the classified documents in various locations, including "a ballroom, a bathroom and shower, an office space, his bedroom and a storage room" at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, which was "an active social club" not authorized for the storage, possession or discussion of the documents.
Claiming that he is "an innocent man" and "did nothing wrong," Trump said in response to the indictment on his social media platform Truth Social that "they come after me because now we are leading in the polls by a lot against Biden."
"It's called election interference. They are trying to destroy your reputation so they can win an election," he said in a video posted on the platform.
Trump is set to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday.
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