Donald Trump arrived at Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania for another rally on Saturday, a city that helped deliver his victory in 2016 and a critical swing state for 2024, while he faces new charges from the Department of Justice and the possibility of him being indicted for a third time looms. But during his speech, seemingly everyone else was a criminal conspiring against him and he, who is himself under criminal investigation, is the one who will save America.
Trump played the victim — his apparent favorite stance of late, brushing off the indictments and charges against him. He brought up President Joe Biden (“crooked Joe Biden,” “a dumb son of a bitch,” and “the most corrupt president in American history” were a few of the ways Trump referred to the leader of the free world) and lamented that he was being persecuted while the “Biden crime family” was not. Claiming that the U.S. no longer has a free and fair press and that “fake news is all you get,” he alleged, “They refuse to discuss the Biden crime family, but enjoy covering false indictments of Donald Trump, who has done nothing wrong.”
As Trump was repeating unverified claims that “disease-ridden” “people from mental institutions, from insane asylums” are pouring into the U.S. — citing a psychiatrist from an unnamed South American country who supposedly claimed they’ve “emptied out” their mentally ill people into the United States — he blamed Biden. “We have somebody that’s not at the top of his game, never was at the top of a game. Never was,” Trump said. “We have a guy who’s a dumb son of a bitch to allow this to happen… Every dollar spent attacking me by Republicans is $1 given straight to the Biden campaign if he makes it.”
Trump also questioned the timing of the “unjustified charges” against him. “They waited two and a half, almost three years so that they could bring them right in the middle of my presidential election, because it’s election interference,” he claimed, calling special counsel Jack Smith a “deranged lunatic” and ripped on his looks: “It’s like Central Casting,” he quipped. Beyond attacking people, he also ripped on cities, including Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Chicago. “They’re all bad, run by Democrats all bad — every one of them is horrible,” he said, citing crime and complaining about how Atlanta’s DA focused on the investigation into Trump’s alleged involvement in 2020 election interference versus crime rates.
On Thursday, the Department of Justice levied additional charges against the former president, which allege that he and two of his employees conspired to destroy Mar-a-Lago surveillance footage requested by federal authorities. The new superseding indictment in the Mar-a-Lago classified-documents case names Carlos de Oliveira, a Mar-a-Lago maintenance worker, and Trump aide Walt Nauta, as defendants alongside Trump, and charges include “Corruptly Altering, Destroying, Mutilating or Concealing a Document, Record, or Other Object,” as well as “Altering, Destroying, Mutilating, or Concealing an Object.”
Trump has been charged with 37 counts of willful retention of classified documents and obstruction of justice, 31 of those counts relate directly to “willful retention of national defense information,” as part of special counsel Jack Smith’s probe in June. Earlier in the month, Smith sent a letter to Trump informing him he is also a target for an investigation into the effort to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump was also indicted in March in connection to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into an alleged 2016 hush money payment made to adult actress Stormy Daniels. Trump has denied wrongdoing in both indictments.
And as he faces potentially his third indictment, he is also struggling to recruit lawyers to defend him, as Rolling Stone reported earlier this week.
Yet despite Trump’s mounting legal issues, he is the GOP presidential nomination frontrunner — with his closest challenger, Ron DeSantis, facing campaign challenges including firing a third of his staffers and financial woes.
On Saturday, Trump’s minions and fellow Republican politician supporters filled the arena to support their candidate with chants of “U.S.A.” U.S. Rep.’s Mike Kelly and Dan Meuser, former U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, former U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands, and Sean Parnell were all in attendance. Parnell, who ran for Congress in 2020 and was an early candidate for a Senate seat last year and was endorsed by Trump, suspended his run following accusations of strangling his wife and abusing their children during a custody battle. Parnell denied the allegations.