Former president Donald Trump arrives at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. on Thursday, August 3, 2023 after appearing at E. Barrett Prettyman United States Court House.
Tom Brenner | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Less than one day after being arraigned on charges of trying to subvert the 2020 presidential race, former President Donald Trump on Friday called for the U.S. Supreme Court to step into the 2024 contest.
Trump, the top contender in the Republican presidential primary, claimed that dealing with numerous ongoing legal battles amounts to “election interference” — the very thing he is accused of conspiring to do in his latest indictment.
“My political opponent has hit me with a barrage of weak lawsuits, including D.A., A.G., and others, which require massive amounts of my time & money to adjudicate,” Trump wrote Friday morning on Truth Social.
“Resources that would have gone into Ads and Rallies, will now have to be spent fighting these Radical Left Thugs in numerous courts throughout the Country,” Trump wrote. “I am leading in all Polls, including against Crooked Joe, but this is not a level playing field.”
“It is Election Interference, & the Supreme Court must intercede,” he wrote.
While the Supreme Court has in the past been tasked with making major decisions about presidential elections — perhaps most notably by ruling on a disputed recount in Florida in 2000 — it’s far from clear what Trump expects the high court to do about his 78 criminal charges. In most cases, the Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction, meaning it considers cases that have been appealed from lower courts.
In a post later Friday morning, Trump claimed he was being targeted in the courts “so it becomes difficult for me to campaign,” adding, “Must be Unconstitutional?”
The Supreme Court did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. A Trump campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to questions about the former president’s post.
Trump was charged Tuesday with four criminal counts related to his efforts to overturn his loss to President Joe Biden in 2020.
The indictment, brought by special counsel Jack Smith, alleges a monthslong effort by Trump and a half-dozen co-conspirators to keep his hold on the presidency through a shifting, multilayered conspiracy that violated multiple federal statutes, including Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.
The indictment centers on Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, when a congressional meeting to confirm Biden’s electoral victory was derailed by a violent pro-Trump mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Trump pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in Washington, D.C., just blocks from the Capitol. Trump has suggested that the case should be moved out of D.C., where a jury would be picked from a Democratic-leaning population, to a state like West Virginia, which voted heavily for Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections.
It was the third time this year that the former president has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. Trump was arraigned in June on federal charges stemming from his efforts to keep classified documents after leaving the presidency. He was also charged by Manhattan prosecutors with falsifying business records related to hush money payments to women who say they had extramarital affairs with him. Trump has denied cheating on his wife.
Thursday’s arraignment may not be Trump’s last. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is expected to seek indictments this month after investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn his loss in Georgia’s 2020 election.
Despite the dozens of criminal charges weighing on Trump, his presidential campaign appears to keep rising above his GOP competitors.
A recent New York Times/Siena College poll of likely Republican primary voters found Trump outpacing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by wide double-digit margins. In Iowa, a key nominating state for Republicans, Trump holds a smaller but still commanding lead, according to another Times/Siena poll published Friday.