Former President Donald Trump has said he will not accept a plea deal in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case unless it comes with a specific condition.
On Thursday, Trump was indicted on numerous criminal charges in the classified documents case being investigated by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after a federal grand jury voted to indict him. Federal prosecutors accuse the former president of mishandling confidential presidential records he took after leaving office in January 2021 and obstructing government efforts to recover them. Among the charges are 31 counts of knowingly withholding documents containing confidential or classified information related to US and foreign military capabilities, US and foreign nuclear programs, hypothetical invasion plans and more.
Despite the considerable amount of evidence presented against him in the impeachment, Trump has maintained his innocence in the case. On Saturday, during an interview for Politico, he vowed to stay in the 2024 presidential race and also called prosecutors who accused him of “thugs and degenerates.”
“I will never leave,” Trump told the outlet. “Look, if I had left, I would have left before the original race in 2016. It was difficult. In theory, that was not feasible.
Trump further predicted that he will not be convicted of the federal charges stemming from the documents case. He also stressed that he would not accept a plea deal unless he was presented with one “where they pay me some damages.”
news week reached out to legal experts via email for information on how common plea agreements with damage payments are, or if such an arrangement is possible.
The former president added that he expects to have to forgive himself if he wins re-election in 2024, a theory that has been raised by many experts. However, his reasoning boiled down to the fact that he doesn’t believe the charges against him stand.
“I don’t think I ever have to,” Trump said. “I did not do anything wrong”.
Trump is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court in Miami. The hearing will be overseen by Judge Aileen Cannon, whom she appointed to the post in the final months of his presidency. The judge’s connections to Trump have led many to call for Cannon to recuse himself from the case.
In the wake of Thursday’s impeachment, Trump issued a call on his Truth Social account for supporters to attend a rally outside of his Tuesday appearance. Prior to the current situation, he issued a similar call after being indicted on state-level charges in Manhattan in March for allegedly violating campaign finance laws, though the resulting crowd was small. Trump has also maintained his innocence in the case.