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Trump supporters gathered outside his Mar-a-Lago home to protest his indictment


After a grand jury in New York indicted former President Donald Trump on 34 charges related to falsifying business records, some of his supporters gathered outside his home at Mar-a-Lago. Wilkine Brutus with member station WLRN in Miami spoke to some of them.


WILKINE BRUTUS, BYLINE: A small crowd with big Trump and American flags wave to honking cars that drove past the entrance to Mar-a-Lago. They say Trump's indictment is persecution, not prosecution. Kevin Hulbert drove 40 minutes from Pompano Beach to protest outside Trump's home in Palm Beach. He's not convinced there was any wrongdoing that justifies the indictment.

KEVIN HULBERT: I understand these laws about business recordkeeping, and there may have been problems with the recordkeeping. I don't know. You know, in a billion-dollar corporation, there are always going to be problems.

BRUTUS: And he believes Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. had political motivations to indict Trump.

HULBERT: I think the charges are based on a construction which is forcing the issue. I just don't think it's legitimate, the way the charges have been strung together.

BRUTUS: The level of support outside of Mar-a-Lago is mute compared to the FBI raid here last August. Then, hundreds of supporters and critics showed up.

FRANCES CIANCIULLI: So I'll be honest with you. So I am surprised that there's not more people here today.

BRUTUS: That's Frances Cianciulli. He says the rift between Governor Ron DeSantis, a political presidential candidate, and Trump is partly to blame.

CIANCIULLI: Example - I had sent a text to my son last night saying that they indicted the president, and my son, who is a Trump supporter and loves his country - all right? - good conservative, my other children in the military and so on - he said, you know what? I'm upset that he got indicted, but I would be OK if DeSantis had ran and so on.

BRUTUS: What may have also contributed to the small turnout is construction in the area. Palm Beach Police used yellow tape and other barriers to prevent cars from parking on the side of the road. Kathy Clark came here from the nearby town of Lantana and says people shouldn't be fooled by the lack of large protests in support of Trump.

KATHY CLARK: People like us - and there's a lot of us who are for Trump - this is not going to discourage us, just make us more stronger for Trump.

BRUTUS: Trump has denied any wrongdoing. He's expected to be arraigned on Tuesday. For NPR News, I'm Wilkine Brutus in Palm Beach. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Wilkine Brutus
Wilkine Brutus is a multimedia journalist for WLRN, South Florida's NPR, and a member of Washington Post/Poynter Institute’s 2019 Leadership Academy. A former Digital Reporter for The Palm Beach Post, Brutus produces enterprise stories on topics surrounding people, community innovation, entrepreneurship, art, culture, and current affairs.