Trump spoke to supporters Tuesday night in some of his first public comments since his arraignment hearing earlier in the day in Miami, Florida.
In a speech from his club in Bedminster, New Jersey, Trump immediately attacked President Joe Biden and the Department of Justice, calling the case against him election interference and political persecution.
“Today we witnessed the most evil and heinous abuse of power in the history of our country,” he said.
In his speech, Trump again falsely claimed the Presidential Records Act gave him the right to retain the documents he kept after his presidency.
But Trump is charged under the Espionage Act, in connection with improperly handling classified documents.
The indictment says Trump retained secret and top secret records on America’s nuclear program, foreign nuclear capabilities and other details about U.S. and allied military capability.
The indictment alleges that Trump kept classified documents in a ballroom, in bathrooms and in showers at Mar-a-Lago. It also says that on at least two occasions Trump showed documents to individuals who were unauthorized to view classified documents.
As of last week, Trump is the first former president to be indicted by a federal grand jury. On Tuesday he to 37 felony counts, most of them for allegedly mishandling classified documents.
A U.S. Marshals source told Scripps News earlier Tuesday that Trump would be digitally fingerprinted and his photo would be uploaded into a court system. Trump did not have a mugshot taken at the arraignment, and Judge Jonathan Goodman did not place bond restrictions on him. He is not considered a flight risk.
A trial date has not yet been set, leaving open the possibility that Trump may be involved in active cases in the middle of the 2024 election season.