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Trump claims political witch hunt as he anticipates new indictment

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Former US president and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at the Turning Point Action USA conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, July 15, 2023. AFP/File
Former US president and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at the Turning Point Action USA conference in West Palm Beach, Florida, July 15, 2023. AFP/File

Former US President Donald Trump said that he anticipates being charged in connection with the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.  

The development would further complicate his legal situation as he leads the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. 

Taking to his Truth Social platform, Trump disclosed receiving a letter from special counsel Jack Smith, signaling his status as a target of the investigation into the Capitol riot. While the specific charges are yet to be disclosed, Trump believes it is linked to election interference and politicisation of law enforcement.

The former president revealed that he has been instructed through the letter to appear before a grand jury, a development he believes could potentially lead to his arrest and indictment.

“This witch hunt is all about election interference and a complete and total political weaponization of law enforcement,” he said.

Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused President Biden of using the justice system to target Trump, a charge denounced by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff.

In a related investigation, Georgia prosecutors are looking into whether Trump illegally attempted to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. Trump maintains his right to protest an election he believes was rigged, and he argues that he is being targeted due to his significant lead in the 2024 presidential race against Biden.

Trump is already facing criminal charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith for mishandling classified government documents after leaving office. The charges include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements, and other offenses. The trial is set to begin in December, but Trump’s defense team has requested a later start date, after the 2024 White House vote.

These legal challenges come in the wake of more than 1,000 arrests related to the Capitol riot. The majority of the arrests were for illegal entry or property damage, while about 350 individuals are charged with assaulting law enforcement officers or resisting arrest. Members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have faced the more severe charge of seditious conspiracy.

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