By Max Matza & Sarah Smith

BBC News

Ex-US President Donald Trump has lashed out at prosecutors on the eve of his court appearance on charges of plotting to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

The “unprecedented indictment” shows the “corruption, scandal, & failure” of the US under Joe Biden’s presidency, he wrote on social media.

Security is being ramped up in Washington DC for Thursday’s hearing.

Mr Trump already faces two other criminal cases as he campaigns for the White House next year.

But the election case he was charged with on Tuesday is widely seen as the most serious one of all.


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In an all-capital-letters post on his Truth Social platform on Wednesday, Mr Trump, who was at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, thanked his followers and said: “I never had so much support on anything before.”

In other posts he attacked rival Republican presidential hopefuls, including his former Vice-President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

He repeated his argument that Mr Pence had had the legal authority to stop Congress from certifying Mr Biden’s election victory on 6 January 2021, proceedings that were disrupted as Trump supporters rioted at the US Capitol.

Mr Trump, 77, is expected to appear in person at a federal courthouse in Washington DC on Thursday at 16:00 EDT (20:00 GMT).

He has visited the city only once since leaving the White House. A queue was already forming on Wednesday evening outside the building.

He faces four counts, including conspiracy to defraud the US, tampering with a witness and conspiracy against the rights of citizens.

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Mr Trump’s lawyers have hinted at their defence strategy.

Attorney John Lauro appeared on NBC’s Today show on Wednesday and said he planned to argue that Mr Trump was protected by the right to free speech enshrined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

“[The indictment] is criminalising speech,” Mr Lauro said.

President Biden is spending the week at his holiday home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

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