Trump ‘shocked’ by indictment but ‘ready to fight’
Donald Trump’s legal team went on the offensive on Friday following his historic indictment, vowing the former president would never seek a plea deal and was ready “to fight” all charges.
The 76-year-old Trump, who is hoping to recapture the White House in 2024, chimed in with attacks on the prosecutors who brought the charges against him and even the judge expected to hear the case.
“ELECTION INTERFERENCE, KANGAROO COURT!” Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social, adding that Juan Manuel Marchal, the judge who may preside over an eventual trial, “hates me.”
Trump is to be booked, fingerprinted and will have a mugshot taken at a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday afternoon before appearing before a judge as the first ever American president to face criminal charges.
“The president will not be put in handcuffs,” said Joe Tacopina, one of Trump’s attorneys, adding that he does not believe prosecutors will “allow this to become a circus.”
Tacopina said the hush-money case being brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump faces “substantial legal challenges” and the former president would plead not guilty.
There is “zero” chance Trump would accept a plea deal, he told NBC’s Today show. “It’s not going to happen. There’s no crime.”
Trump, who is currently at his palatial Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, was initially “shocked” at the indictment, his attorney said, but “he’s now in the posture that he’s ready to fight this.”
– ‘No comment’ –
Trump’s pending arrest throws a political grenade into next year’s White House race and President Joe Biden sidestepped questions from reporters about the indictment of the Republican he beat in 2020 and could potentially face again in November of next year.
“I have no comment on Trump,” Biden said.
A New York grand jury indicted Trump on Thursday over a $130,000 hush-money payment made to a porn star to buy her silence during his 2016 campaign.
Trump has denied any wrongdoing and accused Bragg, a Democrat, of waging a “political witch-hunt” to derail his new White House bid.
In predicting his indictment, Trump called for protests and warned it could lead to “potential death and destruction” for the country.
And in a statement, the ex-president said he had already raised $4 million for his 2024 presidential campaign in the 24 hours following news of the indictment.