Biden on Trump guilty verdict: ‘reckless’ to say trial was rigged

Video caption, Biden is ‘reckless’ to say Trump verdict was ‘rigged’

  • Author, Rachel Looker
  • Role, BBC News, Washington

US President Joe Biden said it was “reckless” for his predecessor, Donald Trump, to call his trial rigged, the day after his historic conviction.

In his first public remarks on Trump’s guilty verdict on 34 counts of falsifying business records, Mr. Biden defended the American justice system.

“The American principle that no one is above the law has been reaffirmed,” Mr. Biden said of the outcome.

Earlier Friday, Trump gave a fiery news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, calling the judge “crooked,” the trial a “sham” and the Democrats “thugs.”

Mr. Biden’s comments Friday afternoon came at the start of a White House news conference in which he discussed the Middle East and a new Israeli proposal for Gaza.

Mr Biden said his Republican opponent in November’s presidential election had been given “every chance” to defend himself and be heard by a jury of 12 US citizens, and that he had no right to complain that the process was not fair.

“It’s reckless. It’s dangerous. It’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” he said, adding that Trump was invited to appeal.

Mr. Biden, who has rarely spoken publicly about Trump’s legal troubles, said the justice system was the “cornerstone of America.”

“The justice system must be respected and we should never allow anyone to tear it down. It’s as simple as that. This is America. This is who we are,” he said.

Trump spoke briefly in court Thursday to say he was treated unfairly and that it should have been a “non-case.”

He criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for taking the case to court.

“It was a shame, it was a rigged trial,” he said.

Trump reiterated his complaints during Friday’s news conference, during which he did not answer reporters’ questions and confirmed that his team would appeal the conviction.

He reiterated that the trial was “rigged” and argued that the New York case was politically motivated and amounted to a “witch hunt.”

He added that a witness called by his defense team had been “literally crucified” and told his supporters that if they “can do this to me, they can do this to anyone.”

Video caption, Americans Across the United States React to Trump’s Conviction

Both Mr. Biden and Trump are seeking to increase donations to their campaigns following Thursday’s verdict.

Mr. Biden took to X, formerly Twitter, on Friday to post a fundraising link to ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising tool.

“Donald Trump threatens our democracy. First he questioned our electoral system. Then he questioned our justice system. And now you can stop him,” he posted.

Trump’s campaign said it raised more than $34.8 million in six hours after the guilty verdict, about half of what the campaign brought in during the month of April.

He said the money came primarily from small donors and that 30 percent of the funds came from WinRed, the Republican Party’s fundraising platform.

Trump’s Truth Social account posted fundraising requests within minutes of his conviction.

“I AM A POLITICAL PRISONER,” one message read.

His campaign also sent emails asking for donations.

Trump’s digital fundraising system amassed a record number of supporters following the guilty verdict Thursday afternoon, according to Brian Hughes, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign.

The increased traffic caused intermittent delays, he added.

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