Former President Donald Trump, ahead of his arraignment in Washington, D.C., insisted a change of venue is needed because getting a fair trial is “impossible” there, noting he has called for a “federal takeover” of the nation’s capital.
“The latest fake ‘case’ brought by Crooked Joe Biden & Deranged Jack Smith will hopefully be moved to an impartial venue, such as the politically unbiased nearby State of West Virginia!” Trump wrote on Truth Social, railing against the president, his special counsel, and the “anti-Trump” city of D.C., the night before his arraignment.
He added it is “impossible to get a fair trial in Washington, D.C., which is over 95% anti-Trump, & for which I have called for a federal takeover in order to bring our capital back to greatness. It is now a high-crime embarrassment to our nation and, indeed, the world. This indictment is all about election interference!!!”
In a separate post early Thursday, Trump said “the radical left wants to criminalize free speech!”
Trump won West Virginia in his 2016 election by 42 percentage points and took the state in 2020 with 68.6%. West Virginia, a strong red state, has not elected a Democrat for president since former President Bill Clinton in 1996, according to The New York Times.
Trump, the front-runner for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, is to be arraigned Thursday afternoon in a four-count indictment by Smith’s special counsel. Trump has been charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
Six other co-conspirators have been listed in the indictment but have not been officially named.
The courthouse where Trump is being arraigned is located between the Capitol and the White House, and Wednesday afternoon, police put up security fencing around the government building.
The indictment is Trump’s third in recent months. He was indicted in Manhattan in April on charges related to the falsification of business records, and in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in June, where he is charged with allegedly mishandling classified documents kept at his Mar-a-Lago estate.