Former President Donald Trump’s most important words after being charged with 34 felonies by the Manhattan District Attorney last week were “not guilty.” However, the most major political issue may be “election interference.”
Trump’s repeated use of those phrases, which have been adopted by other senior Republicans, demonstrate how he is attempting to capitalize on his historic status as the first former president charged with a crime.
It’s just another example of what has been a recurring theme in his political career: asserting without evidence that an election is being rigged against him.
Donald Trump Appearance in the New York Case
Following his initial court appearance in the New York case, the first of several in which he is being investigated, Trump listed the several probes he was facing and labelled them as “massive” attempts to influence the 2024 election.
“Our justice system has become lawless,” Trump said as he appeared before supporters at his Florida home, Mar-a-Lago. “They’re using it now, in addition to everything else, to win elections.”
Since March 3, he has repeated some variation of those assertions in at least 20 social media postings, the majority of which have happened in the last two weeks, accelerating as a Manhattan grand jury appeared to be winding up its work and poised to prosecute the former president.
He announced his latest presidential run shortly after the November midterm elections, which some in his orbit interpreted as an attempt to deflect the myriad investigations swirling around him.
Alleging that an election was stolen from him is a common Trump technique, despite the lack of evidence to back up his claims.
When vying for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Trump claimed that his loss in the Iowa caucuses was the result of fraud.
When he won the White House but lost the popular vote in November, he claimed that the only reason he fell short in the latter category was because unauthorized immigrants voted.
He disbanded a task group he organized to investigate voter fraud after finding no evidence to back up his assertion.
He began claiming the election would be rigged months before voting began in 2020. During the coronavirus outbreak, he criticized efforts to relax limitations on mail voting, and after losing the race, he claimed he’d actually won it. These lies lead to the assault on the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
According to federal and state election officials, as well as Trump’s own attorney general, there is no credible proof that the 2020 election was tainted.
Courts, including those selected by Trump, unanimously dismissed the previous president’s charges of fraud.
According to Harvard political scientist Steven Levitsky, Trump is behaving like a politician in the crosshairs.
When questioned whether the timing of the lawsuit was political during a press conference on Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg answered, “I bring cases when they’re ready.”
Bragg’s office, like the Department of Justice, refuses to comment on Trump’s remarks regarding “election interference.”
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