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

video subtitles, It’s ‘reckless’ to say Trump’s verdict was ‘rigged’: Biden

  • Author, Raquel Mirador
  • Role, BBC News, Washington

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

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

“The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed,” Biden said of Thursday’s result.

Earlier on Friday, Trump held an impassioned news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, calling the judge “crooked,” the trial a “sham” and Democrats “thugs.”

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

Biden said his Republican opponent in November’s presidential election had been given “every opportunity” to defend himself and be heard by a jury of 12 American citizens, and has no right to complain that the process was unfair.

“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 can appeal.

Biden, who has rarely spoken publicly about Trump’s legal problems, defended the justice system, calling it a “cornerstone of America.”

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

Trump spoke briefly outside the courthouse on Thursday to claim that he had been treated unfairly and that it should not have been a “case.”

He harshly criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for taking him to court.

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

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

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

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

video subtitles, Americans across America react to Trump’s guilty conviction

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

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

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

Biden’s campaign also rejected fundraising requests following Trump’s guilty verdict on Thursday in an effort to pad the Democratic candidate’s coffers.

“If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to make your first donation to Joe Biden’s re-election campaign, we’re here to tell you today is the day,” one text message read.

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

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

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

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

His campaign has also sent out emails asking for donations: “But with your support at this moment in history, WE WILL TAKE BACK THE WHITE HOUSE AND MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

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

Increased traffic caused intermittent delays, he added.

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