Former President Donald Trump lamented the “sad day” for America and the decline of Washington, D.C., after his arraignment Thursday.
Trump arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday for his arraignment after being handed a third indictment related to his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election on January 6, 2021. He responded to the arraignment at Ronald Reagan National Airport en route to Bedminster, New Jersey.
“This is a very sad day for America and it was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and the walls and the graffiti. This is not the place that I left, it’s a very sad thing to see it. When you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent. This was never supposed to happen in America.”
“This is the persecution of the person that’s leading by very, very substantial numbers in the Republican primary,” he continued. “Leading Biden by a lot. So if you can’t beat him, you persecute him or you prosecute him. We can’t let this happen in America.”
The former president pleaded not guilty to all four charges included in the indictment. He is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights. (RELATED: Trump Says He Views Indictment Charges As A ‘Badge Of Honor’)
The former president faces two other indictments handed down by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is overseeing both his second and third indictments. A grand jury charged Trump in late March on 34 counts of falsifying business records relating to the $130,000 in hush money allegedly paid to former porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Smith handed down his second indictment in June on 37 counts for allegedly storing thousands of classified documents in his Mar-a-Lago home. Thirty-one of those charges accuse him of violating the Espionage Act.