Trump claims criminal charges 'only brought in to interfere with 2024 election'

ITV News Correspondent Robert Moore on the next steps for Donald Trump and his supporters

Former US President Donald Trump claimed to be a victim of election interference while speaking at his Florida resort hours after his indictment.

The 76-year-old alleged the "fake case" brought by New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg was only brought forward to undermine the results of the upcoming 2024 election.

His speech at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida came just hours after he pleaded not guilty to 34 criminal counts, which included falsifying business records in a hush money investigation.

“I never thought anything like this could happen in America,” Trump said of the New York indictment.

“This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 election and it should be dropped immediately."

He said: “The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it."

Before he appeared in court, Trump made posts on his social media network complaining that the heavily Democratic area was a “very unfair venue” and “this is not what American was supposed to be!”

Former President Donald Trump appearing in court. Credit: AP

As his motorcade carried him across Manhattan, he posted that the experience was “surreal.” The Republican has portrayed the Manhattan case and three separate investigations from the Justice Department and prosecutors in Georgia, as politically motivated.

In recent weeks, he has lashed out at the district attorney leading the investigation, called on his supports to protest and warned about “potential death and destruction” if he were charged.

The indictment centres on allegations Trump falsified business records at his private company while trying to cover up an effort to illegally influence the 2016 election by arranging payments that silenced claims potentially harmful to his candidacy.

The next in-person hearing date for Trump’s case is set for December 4 in New York, and it is expected prosecutors will call on Stormy Daniels, a porn star who was paid for her silence over an alleged extramarital affair with Trump, as a witness.

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