Fact-checking Trump’s post-arraignment Mar-a-Lago speech

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Former President Donald Trump made several claims during his Tuesday night speech at Mar-a-Lago, following his arraignment and not-guilty plea in New York on 34 charges of falsifying business records. Which claims were true, half-true, or not true at all?

PolitiFact took a deep dive into Trump’s post-indictment speech and found some of the statements to be lacking content.

“I have a Trump-hating judge whose daughter worked for Kamala Harris and now receives money from the Biden/Harris campaign,” Trump said

Judge Juan Merchan is the Manhattan judge in the hush money case. His daughter is Loren Merchan. Politico reported in 2022 that she was the president and partner of the company Authentic, which lists multiple Democratic clients including the Harris 2020 presidential campaign and the later 2020 Biden/Harris campaign.

While it can be said that Loren Merchan did work for President Biden and Vice President Harris, Biden has not officially announced he is seeking re-election, so there is not yet any campaign money for Merchan to receive.

Trump said the search of Mar-a-Lago was an “illegal and unconstitutional raid.”

PolitiFact said the law was followed in securing the search warrant used at Mar-a-Lago, and the FBI warrant was signed by a judge. They even provided the receipt for the signed search warrant.
The search was also part of an investigation completely separate from the case in which Trump now faces charges.

Trump also spoke about the Presidential Records Act.

“Under the act, I am supposed to negotiate with NARA, the National Archives and Records Administration,” Trump said.

PolitiFact calls this inaccurate because the Presidential Records Act requires that all documents be returned to the National Archives upon a president’s departure. PolitiFact points out there is no negotiation process where ex-presidents can pick and choose which documents to keep and which to give to the government.

Trump went on to call NARA “a radical left trouble-making organization that red-flags the Constitution of the United States.”

He did not discuss the specifics of the current case for which he appeared in court on Tuesday.

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