The former US president has denounced his federal indictment as “a political hit job” and “a witch hunt” in his first public speeches since the charges were revealed.

He accused the Justice Department of abusing its power and targeting his supporters as he campaigned for a second term at Republican conventions in Georgia and North Carolina.

The indictment alleges that he defied orders to return classified documents, hid them in various locations, including a bathroom at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and instructed his aides and lawyers to lie to investigators.

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