Trump attacks Biden over classified documents and mental acuity

Former President Donald J. Trump, who is facing a criminal case accusing him of illegally withholding classified documents, on Friday blasted a special counsel’s decision not to indict President Biden over his handling of classified material, accusing prosecutors of an unfair double standard.

“You know, look, if he’s not going to be charged, that’s on them. But then I shouldn’t be indicted,” Mr. Trump said at an event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “This is nothing more than the selective persecution of Biden’s political opponent: me.”

The speech of Mr. Trump, at a forum organized by the National Rifle Association, was his first public remarks on the matter since special counsel Robert K. Hur released a report that said that while Mr. Biden “intentionally” withheld and disclosed classified material after that the vice president finished for him, there was no justification for criminal charges.

Mr. Trump has said that he has cooperated more “with very hostile and hostile feds” than Mr. Biden, which was not supported by any evidence. Mr. Hur’s report said the president cooperated fully with his investigation, while Mr. Trump was accused of misleading the government for months about classified documents in his possession.

Mr. Trump also insisted that Mr. Biden’s offenses were more serious than his own, in part because Mr. Biden was not president at the time of his actions. Mr. Trump faces 40 counts related to his retention of sensitive documents after he left office and his refusal to return them, even after receiving a subpoena for classified records.

“They are desperately trying to turn the disaster of the Biden document into ‘Oh, but wasn’t Trump worse?’ No no no. Trump was peanuts in comparison,” Mr. Trump said.

He then referred to comments the special counsel had made questioning Mr Biden’s mental memory, arguing the president had mishandled classified material during a period when he was “mentally a little bit better than he is now”.

Mr. Trump’s speech in Pennsylvania, a swing state expected to be a key battleground in November, suggested he could use the special counsel’s report to bolster two arguments at the heart of his campaign: that he is the victim of unfair prosecution by Democrats and that Mr. Biden is not mentally competent enough to be president.

Mr Trump has also made explicit his desire to destroy the Democratic support base in a state he falsely claimed to have won twice. Without elaborating, he said the border crisis would disproportionately affect key constituencies he’s trying to win over from Democrats: “African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans and all unions.”

But even as he signaled an effort to woo voters, Mr. Trump also used the setting of his speech — a forum at an outdoor sports exhibition sponsored by the NRA — to emphasize his support for gun rights, an issue at the heart of conservative politics.

He strongly vowed to defend gun rights against “attacks” by Democrats. While he offered few concrete policy proposals, he vowed to roll back any gun control efforts Mr. Biden has made.

“No one will step on your firearms,” ​​he told the crowd, which erupted into cheers.

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