Former President Donald Trump bashed Washington, DC, his former home, as he departed in the rain after pleading not guilty to charges linked to his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump’s aide Walt Nauta, who was charged in the classified documents case, held an umbrella over him as he provided brief comment to reporters before boarding his plane.
‘This is a very sad day for America and it was also very sad driving through Washington, DC, and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti,’ Trump said at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Thursday evening.
‘This is not the place that I left. When you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent.’
He added: ‘If you can’t beat him, you persecute him or you prosecute him.’
Trump pleaded not guilty at the E Barrett Prettyman Courthouse to four federal charges in connection to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The four counts are: conspiracy to defraud the US, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights.
‘Not guilty,’ Trump said when Magistrate Judge Moxila Upadhyaya how he would plead.
Trump was arraigned and placed under arrest for the third time in four months, after pleading not guilty in the classified documents and hush money cases.
Federal Judge Tanya Chutkan, who will preside over the case, plans to set a trial date during Trump’s next hearing on August 28.
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