Former President Donald Trump could soon be strapped with an order limiting him in speaking publicly about the federal charges he is facing. But that won’t stop him from using his legal woes to galvanize voters on the campaign trail.
“I will talk about it, I will, they’re not taking away my First Amendment rights,” Trump said on Tuesday about his latest federal indictment, riling up a crowd at a campaign stop in Windham, N.H.
A court-ordered muzzle could be imminent for Trump, after the current GOP front-runner appeared to declare that he’s “coming after” those he views as responsible for his myriad legal challenges. Prosecutors brought the comments to a judge’s attention last week, calling for Trump to be ordered to keep any evidence prosecutors turn over to his defense team away from public view.
But Trump said Tuesday that he didn’t care, calling the charges against him “bullshit” and accusing President Joe Biden of “weaponizing” the Justice Department to take out a political rival.
“They don’t want me to speak about a rigged election. They don’t want me to speak about it. Whereas I have freedom of speech, First Amendment,” Trump said. Biden, Trump claimed, is “forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trial in order to fight bogus, made-up accusations and charges.”
“I’m sorry I won’t be able to go to Iowa today, I won’t be able to go to New Hampshire today because I’m sitting in a courtroom on bullshit,” Trump said to the crowd, eliciting cheers and chants of “bullshit.”
The former president was charged with four felony counts last week and accused of conspiring to seize a second term after losing to Joe Biden in the 2020 election. He is also facing charges in two other cases — a federal case in Florida in which he’s accused of hoarding classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them, and a hush money case in Manhattan. A fourth indictment against Trump is expected in the coming days in Georgia, also related to Trump’s efforts to interfere with the results of the 2020 election.
All of Trump’s legal battles threaten to take him away from the campaign trail and into the courtroom just as the 2024 presidential race picks up speed.