'He cheats, he conspires': Conservative details the many 'lies' Trump told in post-arraignment speech

'He cheats, he conspires': Conservative details the many 'lies' Trump told in post-arraignment speech

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 marked the first time in U.S. history that one of its former presidents was arraigned on criminal charges. A Manhattan jury's indictment was unsealed, revealing 34 criminal counts and accusing former President Donald Trump of falsifying business records. Trump was arrested and booked and entered a plea of "not guilty."

After his arraignment, Trump left New York City on his private jet and returned to Palm Beach, Florida — where he gave a speech at Mar-a-Lago and railed against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr. The grievance-filled speech was clearly aimed at Trump's MAGA base, and according to The Bulwark’s William Saletan, it was full of lies and distortions.

Saletan, a Never Trump conservative and scathing critic of the former president, doesn't believe that Bragg has a really strong case against Trump. But in a Bulwark article published on April 5, Saletan argues that Trump made himself look bad by telling so many "lies" during his post-arraignment speech.

READ MORE:'Too late cupcake': Twitter roasts the Trumps for attacking Manhattan judge's daughter

"The indictment of Donald Trump for falsifying business records, unveiled on Tuesday by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, has problems," Saletan argues. "It focuses on consensual adultery, it combines multiple statutes in a novel way, and it seems to rely on federal campaign laws that generally aren’t prosecuted by local officials. You could argue, based on any of these points, that the indictment is unwise or that Trump should be acquitted."

The conservative journalist continues, "But in a post-arraignment speech at Mar-a-Lago, Trump made it clear that he won't settle for partial or technical objections. He demands not just a rejection of the indictment, but acceptance of numerous lies about this investigation and several others. He's making it more and more difficult for Republicans to defend him."

Saletan goes on to cite six "lies" Trump told during that speech: (1) "Everyone agrees there's no crime involved," (2) "Bragg and other prosecutors targeted Trump without any basis," (3) "The indictment is part of a Democratic conspiracy to steal elections," (4) "Trump is innocent of everything, including a corrupt phone call to Georgia," (5) "Trump fully cooperated in returning classified documents from Mar-a-Lago," and (6) "Trump automatically declassified the documents at Mar-a-Lago just by taking them."

"This is the problem with defending Trump: You might start with a case against him that has serious flaws — that's my view of the indictment in Manhattan — but Trump won't allow you to just talk about those flaws," Saletan writes. "He's a pathological narcissist and liar. He demands total allegiance. He insists that you accept all his fabrications and fantasies. He lies baldly about every investigation: Manhattan, Georgia, Mar-a-Lago, January 6th, and whatever else comes along. The reason why all these prosecutors are investigating Trump isn't some grand conspiracy to destroy an innocent man. The reason is that he's a crook. He lies, he cheats, he conspires, he fabricates, he extorts."

In a separate Bulwark article published on April 4, University of Baltimore law professor Kimberly Wehle offers a detailed description of Bragg's criminal case against Trump. And Wehle, a former assistant U.S. attorney, points out that the ex-president may face criminal indictments from other prosecutors in the months ahead.

READ MORE:Alvin Bragg smacks down Jim Jordan: No 'legitimate basis for congressional inquiry'

"The government has asked the judge for a January 16, 2024 trial date — two weeks before the currently scheduled date of the New Hampshire primary for the 2024 presidential race," Wehle notes. "Trump's lawyers made a bid for trial to begin later that spring. The case will likely be delayed in any event, while Trump's lawyers file a wave of motions to dismiss the indictment or reduce the charges to a misdemeanor — which would fall outside the statute of limitations — and, failing that, to narrow the evidence that goes to the jury, among other things."

The law professor continues, "Meanwhile, special counsel Jack Smith continues apace with his investigations of Trump's role in the attempts to subvert the 2020 election — including the January 6th insurrection — and his Mar-a-Lago withholding of presidential records from the government. Not to mention the Fulton County, Georgia DA's probe of Trump's efforts to get officials to 'find' votes to swing that state in his column in 2020, or the Justice Department and SEC's investigation of his Truth Social initial public offering. But by the time any additional indictments issue, the collective shock of indicting a former president will have worn off. Ultimately, this one will be resolved not by politics, but by the rule of law."

READ MORE:Why Trump should brace for 'much more serious charges' in Georgia probe: journalist

Read William Saletan’s full Bulwark article at this link and Kimberly Wehle’s full Bulwark article at this link.

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