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Former President Trump on Wednesday used his off day from attending court in New York City to lambast the criminal cases against him as “bullshit” during one of his first battleground events since going on trial.

Trump spoke to supporters in Freeland, Mich., where he lashed out at length about his legal problems and attacked the judges who have handled his criminal and civil cases in New York. The former president claimed his own indictments were a “badge of honor” as he sought to use the charges against him to rally his base ahead of November’s election.

“Every one of these fake cases is bullshit. Every single one of them. Terrible,” Trump said to roars from the crowd.

“As you know, I’ve come here today from New York City, where I’m being forced to sit for days on end in a kangaroo courtroom with a corrupt and conflicted judge, enduring a Biden sideshow trial at the hands of a Marxist district attorney … who’s taking orders from the Biden administration,” Trump continued.

Trump is on trial in New York City over allegations he falsified business records related to an alleged hush money scheme to conceal an affair during the 2016 campaign. He must attend court four days a week, with Wednesdays and weekends as off days. There is no evidence President Biden or the White House had a hand in bringing charges against Trump.

The former president called the New York City trial “an unlawful exercise in very stupid and very evil politics.” But Trump noted his legal problems have done little to shake his standing in the polls, which show him leading Biden in battleground states. In Michigan, which Biden won in 2020, Trump is ahead by 4 percentage points, according to a Decision Desk HQ polling average.

“These indictments are not just an attack on me, they’re an assault on the constitutional rights of all Americans,” Trump said. “The ultimate verdict on this travesty will not come in a courtroom, it will come at the ballot box. And the American people are going to find crooked Joe Biden guilty of trying to destroy our country.”

Trump blasted Judge Juan Merchan, who is handling the hush money trial, as “crooked and conflicted” and complained about a gag order that prevents Trump from attacking witnesses in the case and the family of court staff. Merchan on Tuesday fined Trump $9,000 for repeated violations of the gag order.

The former president later took aim at Judge Arthur Engoron, who handled a civil fraud trial over Trump’s business practices and ordered him to pay nearly $355 million. 

Trump also chastised the judge in a defamation case brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll, at the end of which a jury ordered Trump to pay $83.3 million for defaming Carroll by denying her claims of sexual assault when the longtime Elle columnist came forward in 2019.

The former president did not touch specifically on the charges against him in Washington, D.C., and Georgia over attempting to subvert the 2020 election results, or the charges he’s facing in Florida over his handling of classified documents after leaving office.

“The fact is, the important vote to me is the vote on Nov. 5, because it’s going to turn out to be the single most important day in the history of our country, and we’re going to get things straightened out,” Trump said.

The Michigan event was the second rally of the day for Trump, who also spoke to supporters in Wisconsin. It was the first time Trump visited a battleground state since he went on trial in mid-April. A previously scheduled rally in North Carolina was canceled due to severe weather.

Trump used the events to lay out some of his plans for a second term, which included a pledge to shut down the southern border and order mass deportations of immigrants who came into the U.S. illegally.

The former president said he would seek to extend his 2017 tax law, which is set to expire in 2025 and which critics have argued disproportionately helped wealthy Americans and businesses. Trump said he would halt spending through the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation passed in 2022 with only Democratic votes that invested in climate-friendly industries and lowered prescription drug costs.

Trump said he would increase drilling, though U.S. production of oil hit record highs last year.

During both rallies, the former president also spoke about abortion, an issue that could prove to be a major vulnerability for Trump in November. The former president has repeatedly taken credit for ending Roe v. Wade through his appointment of three conservative Supreme Court justices and has said abortion policy should be left up to the states.

Trump said during his Wisconsin rally that people were “absolutely thrilled” with the way states were handling abortion policy, even as states like Florida implemented restrictive laws that made it difficult for millions of women to obtain an abortion legally.

“States are deciding. And some people are unhappy because it’s too liberal a policy or too conservative a policy, but we’ve brought it back into the states where it has to be,” Trump said. “And over a period of time that works out. And it’s taken a lot of the controversy out, and it’s been a good thing. 

“You have to go with your heart. You have to do what’s right. But you also have to get elected,” Trump added. “Because if you don’t get elected, a lot of bad things will happen beyond the abortion issue. A lot of very bad things will happen from taxes, to military to everything else. So it’s been very interesting to see the process.”


Joe Biden

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