At his first public appearance in the capital Washington since the end of his term in office, former President Donald Trump accused the current US administration of failure. “Quite simply, we had made America great again,” Trump said. “But now our country has literally been brought to its knees – and who would have thought that could happen,” said the Republican during a keynote speech on Tuesday afternoon (local time).
He cited the high inflation rate and high fuel prices as examples, but he focused his speech on the subject of internal security. “Our country and the lives of our citizens are at stake and we have no time to waste. Our country is in a criminal state like we have never experienced before,” he said – without giving any evidence.
Trump delivered his speech at a conference at the America First Policy Institute – a think tank set up by former election officials to advance Trump’s policies. It was his first appearance in Washington since leaving the capital hours before Joe Biden was inaugurated as US President on January 20, 2001.
Speaking of the investigative committee currently investigating the violence, specifically targeting the role played by the ex-president and his staff, Trump said: “Everything this corrupt establishment is doing to me is about their power and control over the American… to get people. They want to harm you in some way. They really want to harm me so that I can no longer work for you. And I don’t think that will happen.”
The committee of inquiry into the Capitol attack wants to shed light on the events in the White House on January 6, 2021, clarify responsibilities and draw conclusions.
Trump again only indirectly commented on a possible renewed candidacy in the presidential elections in 2024: “Maybe we just have to do it again,” said the 76-year-old after speaking about his election victory in 2016 and again claiming that he also had the choice won in 2020. To this day, the Republican refuses to acknowledge his defeat against Biden and also spoke of electoral fraud in his speech in Washington.
Since his deselection, Trump has repeatedly flirted with a renewed candidacy and fueled speculation. A second term as president in the USA is also possible if the two periods do not follow each other directly. Trump would be 78 years old when elected in just over two and a half years.
Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence also gave a speech in Washington on Tuesday, but at a different think tank – the conservative Heritage Foundation. Last Friday, Trump and Pence appeared in parallel at events in the US state of Arizona. Both Republicans campaigned there for competing party colleagues in the race for the governorship. Observers took this as a sign that Pence wants to distance himself from his former boss, as both could aspire to run for the White House in 2024.
Meanwhile, after the investigative committee’s revelations into the attack on the US Capitol a year and a half ago, pressure is mounting on the Justice Department. According to the Washington Post, there are now increasing indications that the ministry is investigating the behavior of then-President Donald Trump more closely.
The question is whether Attorney General Merrick Garland could take criminal action against Trump. Critics accuse him of being too hesitant to proceed.
The newspaper, citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday evening (local time) that prosecutors spent hours questioning witnesses before a grand jury about meetings Trump chaired in December 2020 and January 2021.
A grand jury is called in to review evidence in possible crime cases and decide whether to press charges. It had previously been assumed that these investigations were primarily related to Trump allies such as Rudy Giuliani, the newspaper continued. But prosecutors are obviously more interested in Trump’s actions than expected.
In addition, Justice Department investigators received phone records from key Trump administration officials as early as April, the newspaper wrote. The Department has not yet launched a formal criminal investigation into Republican Trump over the events surrounding the 2020 presidential election and the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.
Trump had been heavily incriminated by numerous witnesses at public hearings by the Capitol attack committee in recent weeks. The body itself cannot take legal action – this is the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice.