Smiling before a cheering crowd Tuesday night, former President Donald Trump received a spontaneous singing of “Happy Birthday to You” from onlookers watching his response to being indicted in Miami.
Trump, who turned 77 on Wednesday, sarcastically said, “Nice birthday, isn’t it?” before song broke out to cheer up the Republican leader in the hours after he was arraigned on 37 counts related to the handling of classified documents and obstruction of justice.
Bedminster crowd sings Happy Birthday to President Trump pic.twitter.com/GFFHmuLvBD
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 14, 2023
Following the song, Trump told the crowd he was sitting with his son Eric and his family when his granddaughter wished him happy birthday. “I said oh, great, I just got charged with, they want 400 years approximately. If you add them all up, a fake 400 years. Though thank you, darling, that’s so nice,” said Trump, still smiling through it all.
Earlier in his speech, the former president retold the heavy burden his son Eric Trump has faced as prosecutors like Jack Smith, Robert Mueller, and others have gone after his family with subpoenas and congressional inquiries.
“What these thugs have done to my family is a disgrace,” said Trump, adding his son Eric has responded to “literally thousands” of subpoenas.
“What he literally did is answer subpoenas all the time. At least he’s become very experienced at that,” said Trump.
The case against Trump hinges on whether or not the 45th president obstructed the Justice Department from a sweeping search of his Mar-a-Lago compound for documents prosecutors claim contained national security secrets that Trump had no authority to declassify. The former president and his attorneys will argue he had complete authority to do so and will cite legal precedent used by former President Bill Clinton when he faced a similar inquiry under the President Records Act.
Some legal analysts are skeptical of Smith’s case against Trump which relies on the 1917 Espionage Act to claim crimes were committed against national security interests. The former president’s lawyers believe they have grounds to seek dismissal of the case, citing inappropriate lines of questioning by federal prosecutors and possible witness tampering. Former Trump attorney Timothy Parlatore, speaking about his time before a grand jury, said he witnessed firsthand the lengths that DOJ prosecutors would go to intimate the president is guilty by exercising his Fifth Amendment and attorney-client privileges:
“I went before the grand jury myself… I was really stunned by what I saw in the grand jury room and the conduct of the prosecutors. They made many attempts to try to get at privileged communications. They would ask me about conversations with my client. They would make improper references to the jury, trying to mislead them about that,” Parlatore said.
President Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges.