Trump Blasts Judge in Trump Tower Press Conference

He says his trial was 'very unfair,' confirms he will be 'appealing this scam'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2024 11:31 AM CDT
Trump Slams 'Devil' Judge, Says He'll Appeal Conviction
Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at Trump Tower, Friday, May 31, 2024, in New York.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

A little under nine years after he came down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his successful candidacy for president, Donald Trump spoke in the building's atrium again on Friday. His remarks were wide-ranging in the 33-minute press conference, but his main focus was what he called his "very unfair" trial. The former president, who was convicted of 34 felonies on Thursday, described Judge Juan Merchan as a "tyrant." Merchan "looks like an angel, but he's really a devil," Trump said, per CNN.

  • "As far as the trial itself, it was very unfair. We weren't allowed to use our election expert under any circumstances," he said, per NBC News. "You saw what happened to some of the witnesses that were on our side, they were literally crucified by this man," he said.

  • Trump ripped into Michael Cohen without naming him, saying, "I'm not allowed to use his name because of the gag order." He said Cohen was "effective" as a lawyer, but also a "sleazebag," per the AP. "This could be dangerous for Trump, who still has to undergo sentencing, where a judge often takes a defendant's post-verdict conduct into account," writes Jonah Bromwich at the New York Times.
  • Trump said he wanted to testify, but his lawyers thought it was too risky, the Washington Post reports. "The theory is you never testify because as soon as you testify, anybody, if it were George Washington—don't testify because they'll get you on something that you said slightly wrong and then they sue you for perjury," he said.

  • Trump claimed he would be "going to jail for 187 years," the Telegraph reports. The maximum sentence is four years but experts believe he is unlikely to serve any prison time at all.
  • The former president insisted he had done nothing wrong and confirmed he will be appealing the "hoax" case, NBC reports. "We're going to be appealing this scam," he said. "We're going to be appealing it on many different things."
  • CNN notes that Trump veered off into several other topics, including the auto industry, immigration, and crime. He also attacked other investigations, including his two impeachments.
  • Trump accused President Biden of being behind the conviction, the Guardian reports. He said Biden is the "dumbest president, most incompetent president, and he's the most dishonest president we've ever had." "We're living in a fascist state," Trump said.
  • "Our kids can't have a Little League game anymore because you have tents and you have migrants living on the fields," Trump said before concluding his remarks, saying Nov. 5, Election Day, "is the most important day in the history of our country." He departed without taking questions.
(More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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