JUST IN: Donald Trump Called Supporters to Miami – And They Didn’t Answer
Former President Donald Trump was historically arraigned on Tuesday and formally charged with 37 federal felonies, most of which stem
Former President Donald Trump was historically arraigned on Tuesday and formally charged with 37 federal felonies, most of which stem from alleged violations of the Espionage Act.
The former President has been raging about the looming indictment for months, calling it a “hoax” and a “witch hunt.”
But once the indictment was officially voted on by a grand jury last week and presented to Trump’s legal team, the whole ballgame changed.
Trump became the first President to be federally charged with crimes, and when the indictment was unsealed on Friday it quickly became clear just how serious the charges are.
Trump’s arraignment was set for 3pm on Tuesday, June 13.
The former President and his cohorts made calls on social media for his supporters to show up and support him.
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Like when he was arraigned in Manhattan, Trump hoped that a show of force by supporters would change the minds of the Justice Department. Or at least make them think twice about crossing him.
But just like in Manhattan, very little came of Trump’s plea to supporters.
In Manhattan, a handful of people showed – and they were outnumbered by counter-protesters.
In Miami, the pro-Trump crowd was outnumbered by press, clamoring to see the former President arrive at and depart the courthouse.
It was a very underwhelming response for a former President who believed he still held his supporters in the palm of his hand and could command them to do anything. That’s not to say no one came, but no significant crowd materialized, and no mob of righteous Trump defenders showed to usher the former POTUS into the courthouse.
Maybe it was the threat of January 6-like arrests, or maybe people couldn’t take the day off work.
Either way, the response to Trump’s plea was modest at best, and now Trump has to rethink what he knows about his base’s support.
In the past few months, Trump has held strong as the GOP presidential frontrunner for 2024.
He still leads his rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, by double digits in the polls – and some even show him competing with President Joe Biden in the general election.
But the never-ending circus of legal woes seems to be taking a toll on his supporters. They may believe Trump is innocent, and they may even say they’d vote for him if he were to run from prison – but reality seems to be far different from what “they say.”
After all, when Trump called his troops of supporters to the Capitol for January 6, 2021, they showed up by the thousands.
So we know they were at one point willing to answer his call – they just may not be willing to do so anymore. At least, not in the numbers he hopes for.
On social media, Trump tried to keep up appearances by thanking people for showing up to welcome him to the court house.
At 1:45PM EST on Tuesday, Trump wrote on Truth Social, “ON MY WAY TO COURTHOUSE. WITCH HUNT!!! MAGA.”
And at 4:30PM EST, as he left the courthouse, Trump wrote, “Thank you Miami. Such a warm welcome on such a SAD DAY for our Country!”
After Trump left the courthouse, he headed to his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort – and there he spoke before a small crowd.
Once again, Trump trotted out his laundry list of defenses about how he was entitled to those classified documents as former President, and how the Espionage Act should not apply.
But just yesterday on social media, Trump said that he believed classified information was “planted” by special counsel Jack Smith’s agents.
So it’s hard to say which defense he’s planning to stick with – either there was no classified information (it was “planted”), or he was entitled to have it.
For now, the former President is stewing and planning his legal defense – and voters are having to decide if they want another 4 years of controversy and political theater.