Trump descends on Pennsylvania for final campaign rally before criminal trial begins

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pennsylvania — Former President Donald Trump arrived in northeastern Pennsylvania on Saturday evening for his latest campaign rally, the last before his first criminal trial is set to begin early next week. 

Trump will take the stage at the Schnecksville Fire Hall in Lehigh County Saturday evening to greet an energized crowd deep in the swing state of Pennsylvania, which President Joe Biden often considers to be his home turf. Hundreds of supporters gathered throughout the afternoon to hear from the former president, even as jury selection is scheduled to begin on Monday for Trump’s hush money case — marking the first criminal trial of a former president in U.S. history. 

Despite the criminal charges weighing over Trump’s head as he seeks a return to the White House next year, several Republican voters have brushed off the threat — with many supporters telling the Washington Examiner even a conviction would not sway their support. 

“I believe that all these criminal cases are brought against him to interfere in our elections,” said Kim Becker, a resident of Bucks County who attended the rally on Saturday. “Biden knows he’s losing, and he’s using the Department of Justice to weaponize it against President Trump to keep him from winning.”

When asked if a conviction in any of Trump’s four criminal cases would make her reconsider her support, Becker said: “Absolutely not. Because they’re all bogus.”

The criminal trial on Monday is centered on allegations Trump orchestrated a “catch and kill” scheme during the 2016 presidential cycle to identify negative stories about him and pay large sums of money to bury them from public view.

In one instance, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen wired $130,000 to an attorney to be transferred to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an alleged sexual affair. Cohen later pleaded guilty to the illegal campaign contribution charge in 2018.

In all, Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in that criminal case. 

But several supporters have decried the trial as being politically motivated, arguing the charges are not substantiated. 

“All of these crimes are made up,” said Edward Young, a Trump supporter from Jersey Shore who was also at the rally. “He isn’t being prosecuted. He’s being persecuted. And we all know it.”

While Trump faces a number of criminal trials over the coming weeks, it may limit the former president’s availability on the campaign trail. However, Trump has frequently fundraised off the charges, accusing his opponents of election interference by attacking the party’s presumptive nominee. 


Trump’s visit to the state comes less than two weeks before Pennsylvania will hold its primary election on April 23. Pennsylvania has become a crucial battleground state for November after Trump won the state in 2016 before it flipped back to Biden in 2020. 

The state is also home to a crucial Senate race, which could determine which party will win the majority of the upper chamber next year. That race will be determined in the state’s primary later this month, although it is expected to be between incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Republican candidate Dave McCormick.

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