Trump blames judge, jury and a country ‘gone to hell’

NEW YORK: “Guilty”. As America began to absorb on Friday the conviction of Donald Trump, a first for a former US president, he criticised the criminal case and the judge who oversaw it.
Trump, in a rambling 33-minute speech, derided the trial as “rigged” and attacked the judge in his first presser since a Manhattan jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying records to cover up a sex scandal.He made several misleading statements about the case and what took place at the trial.
Trump, who said he would appeal the verdict, attacked people who testified against him in the seven-week trial, specifically his former fixer, Michael Cohen, the star witness for the prosecution. He also admitted that he got “very upset” with his lawyers. He called the judge, Juan Merchan, the “devil”. Trump delivered the comments inside Trump Tower, a gilded venue on Fifth Avenue. His son Eric and daughter-in-law Lara joined him, but wife, Melania, who has been publicly silent since the verdict, was not seen.
On Thursday too, Trump outside the court had argued the verdict was illegitimate and driven by politics. He said he was convicted not because he hid payments to a porn actor but because “our whole country is being rigged” and “has gone to hell”. “Millions and millions of people, pouring into our country right now, from prisons and from mental institutions, terrorists,” he said. “And they’re taking over our country.” In contrast, Trump said, “I’m a very innocent man. I’m fighting for our country.” In his telling, he was doomed from the start – a New York jury would never have acquitted him. “They were Democrats”.


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