Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that the “deep state” was coming after him and his supporters in his first speech since being indicted on federal charges related to his handling of classified documents.
Trump spoke openly about the 37-count indictment to about 2,000 Republicans gathered in Columbus, Georgia, at the state Republican conference. The 2024 presidential candidate is accused of the willful retention of national defense information, corruptly concealing documents or records, and making false statements.
“The ridiculous and baseless indictment of me by the Biden administration’s weaponized department of injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country,” Trump said. “Many people have said that; Democrats have even said it. This vicious persecution is a travesty of justice.”
“In the end, they’re not coming after me, they’re coming after you — and I’m just standing in their way,” he said.
Trump said that he has been “engaged in an epic struggle” with “sinister forces within” the country, including the “globalists,” “Marxists,” and “RINOs.”
Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed to oversee an investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents, said that Trump would get a “speedy” trial. He is scheduled to appear before Judge Aileen Cannon in the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday.
Trump said the indictment on federal charges, alongside the charges he faces in New York City over business records, are examples of the Left using the FBI, the DOJ, and local district attorneys to interfere in an election.
“These criminals cannot be rewarded, they must be defeated,” Trump said, referring to the officials who have brought charges against him.
Trump also took aim at President Joe Biden in the speech over inflation, foreign policy, and energy prices. He also pointed to Biden’s document scandal, after reports surfaced that he improperly took documents from the White House when he served as vice president.
Prominent Georgia officials, like Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, were not in attendance at the meeting, saying that they were not invited. Georgia Lt. Government Burt Jones attended the meeting, which was held at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center.
The former president is also slated to give a speech in North Carolina today.