Former President Donald Trump on Thursday spouted off on social media about his latest indictment, taking aim at special counsel Jack Smith and repeating his widely disputed claims that the "Clinton socks" case and the Presidential Records Act prove his innocence in the probe of his handling of national security materials after leaving office.
Trump previously ranted about the Justice Department investigation on his way to the Miami federal district court where he was arraigned on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to all 37 counts outlined in the indictment, which include willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice and making false statements.
The Republican frontrunner continued to express his fury with the charges on Truth Social Thursday evening, falsely claiming he was been "totally exonerated" and demanding the return of his boxes.
"SO NOW THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS THAT THE PRESIDENTIAL RECORDS ACT, PLUS THE CLINTON SOCKS CASE, TOTALLY EXONERATED ME FROM THE CONTINUING WITCH HUNT BROUGHT ON BY CORRUPT JOE BIDEN, THE DOJ, DERANGED JACK SMITH, AND THEIR RADICAL LEFT, MARXIST THUGS, WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO DROP ALL CHARGES AGAINST ME, APOLOGIZE, AND RETURN EVERYTHING THAT WAS ILLEGALLY TAKEN (FOURTH AMENDMENT) FROM MY HOME? THIS WAS NOTHING OTHER THAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!" THIS WAS NOTHING OTHER THAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!" Trump wrote, reiterating statements he made during his Tuesday rally in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Trump's references to the Presidential Records Act and the "Clinton socks" case don't quite provide full context of either. Legal experts told Salon that Trump's case is vastly different from former President Bill Clinton's, who reports said kept recordings from oral history interviews with a historian who authored a book about his presidency in a sock drawer.
Under the PRA, which defines the scope of presidential records and states that they belong to the government, Clinton's interviews qualified as diaries and were not, in fact, presidential records, former U.S. attorney Barb McQuade explained.
The experts also clarified that Trump had not been charged with violating the PRA, but the Espionage Act, which instead pertains to national defense records from agencies like the CIA that the indictment alleges he illegally retained.
"PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT AT A LEVEL SELDOM SEEN IN OUR COUNTRY BEFORE!" Trump continued on Truth Social.
"AFTER GOING THROUGH A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION FOR TWO YEARS BY THE DISTRICT ATTORNEYS OFFICE IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK, IT WAS JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THE CASE HAS BEEN DROPPED, AND NO CHARGES WILL BE FILED. THIS WAS THE HONORABLE THING TO DO IN THAT I DID NOTHING WRONG, BUT WHERE AND WHEN DO I GET MY REPUTATION BACK?" he said, referring to the suburban New York investigation into whether he or his company misled authorities in order to reduce their property taxes.
"WHEN WILL THE OTHER FAKE CASES AGAINST ME BE DROPPED? ELECTION INTERFERENCE!!!" he concluded.
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National security law experts warned that Trump's Truth Social rants are not doing him any favors.
"He still wants the documents back. Keep confessing to intent, Donnie," national security lawyer Bradley Moss tweeted in response to Trump's first post.
"Trump's legal & political strategies continue to conflict. Legally, every time he 'speaks' he brings himself one step closer to conviction," national security attorney Mark Zaid added. "Politically, to his benefit to be grandiose & aggressive. Raises funds, creates support & polarizes. Which will prevail ultimately?"