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- Trump called on Republicans in an all-caps tirade to “DEFUND THE DOJ AND FBI” on Wednesday.
- It was a remarkable comment from Trump, who built his brand around bolstering law enforcement.
- His Truth Social rant came after he was indicted on 34 felony counts by the Manhattan DA’s office.
Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday in an all-caps Truth Social post that congressional Republicans “should defund the DOJ and FBI until they come to their senses.”
It was a remarkable demand from Trump, who is currently the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, and has built his political brand around bolstering law enforcement.
“THE DEMOCRATS HAVE TOTALLY WEAPONIZED LAW ENFORCEMENT IN OUR COUNTRY AND ARE VICIOUSLY USING THIS ABUSE OF POWER TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ALREADY UNDER SIEGE ELECTIONS!” Trump wrote on his Twitter-esque social media website.
His tirade came one day after he was arraigned in downtown Manhattan after the Manhattan DA’s office indicted him on 34 felony counts of falsification of business records. The case stems mainly from a $130,000 hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels that Trump’s then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, coordinated during the 2016 election.
Cohen pleaded guilty to several felonies in connection to the payment, including tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations. He said that he made the payment at Trump’s direction in exchange for Daniels’ silence about an affair she claims to have had with Trump in 2006. But Trump and his lawyers deny knowledge of the payment, and Trump has also denied the alleged affair.
The former president was stone-faced when he arrived in court Tuesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to the nearly three dozen charges against him.
Prosecutors, meanwhile, told Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the proceedings, that they were concerned Trump’s social media invectives — in which he frequently attacks judges, the justice system, the Manhattan DA’s office, Democrats, and other perceived enemies — could intimidate witnesses and jurors in a potential trial.
Merchan warned the former president not to make comments that “jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals.”
“Please refrain from making comments or engaging in conduct that has the potential to incite violence, create civil unrest, or jeopardize the safety or well-being of any individuals,” Merchan told Trump’s lawyers.
But hours later, the ex-president lobbed personal attacks against the judge, his wife, and his daughter at a rambling speech at Mar-a-Lago where he asserted his innocence and painted himself as the victim of political persecution.
“This is where we are right now. I have a Trump-hating judge, with a Trump-hating wife and family, whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris and now receives money from the Biden-Harris campaign,” he said. He did not provide evidence for his claim.
Insider reached out to a lawyer for Trump for comment.