Trump warns of ‘big trouble’ if indicted for mishandling classified documents

Former President Donald Trump has warned that if he is charged with mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House, there will be “problems in this country like we may never have seen before”.

Trump, speaking to conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Thursday, added: “I don’t think the American people would support him.”

Hewitt, who is also a collaborating columnist for The Washington Post, then noted that critics would describe the comment as inciting violence, and he asked Trump to respond to that claim. “It’s not incentive – I’m just saying what I think. I don’t think the people of this country would accept that,” Trump said.

Pressed by Hewitt, Trump said he thought there would be “big problems. Big problems.

Federal agents conducted a court-authorized search of Trump’s club and residence on August 8, part of a long-running investigation into whether government documents — some of which are classified — were stored at Mar -a-Lago instead of being returned to the National Archives.

The FBI investigation is the latest legal push on Trump, who is now under intense scrutiny as the criminal investigation intensifies. The investigation is investigating whether he or his former aides took classified government documents and improperly stored them or never returned them. Trump’s lawyer argued that the former president cooperated with federal authorities and that many of the documents were covered by executive privilege.

In January 2021, the House impeached Trump on a single charge of “incitement to insurrection” for his role in mobilizing a crowd of his supporters to stop Congress from counting electoral college votes for Joe Biden. A crowd of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to stop the count, an attack that left five dead and injured dozens of law enforcement personnel.

Trump’s comments on Thursday came hours before officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security briefed Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee about the threats against federal officials. After the briefing, Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of that committee, called Trump’s rhetoric dangerous.

“Inviting the crowd back to the streets is exactly what happened here on January 6, 2021,” Durbin told reporters. After noting that five people died as a result of the attack and 149 law enforcement officers were injured that day, the senator said Trump’s ‘reckless and incendiary rhetoric has its consequences’ .

In the interview with Hewitt, Trump also said he “would have no ban on running” for office if indicted. “That wouldn’t get you out of the arena,” Hewitt said, trying to clarify the former president’s position. Trump replied, “It wouldn’t.”

In 1920, the socialist Eugène V. Debs ran for president from prison, where he was serving time in Atlanta Federal Penitentiary for speaking out against the project during World War I. Debs and his running mate, Emil Seidel, garnered 913,693 votes, but – as in his previous campaigns – no electoral votes.

Trump’s warning about the problems echoes Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.), who told Fox News last month that there would be “street riots” if Trump were prosecuted. Trump seemed to approve of the notion, share a link to a video of Graham’s comments on his Truth Social platform.

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