July 20, 2024

Biden insists “no one is above the law” after a jury finds his political rival guilty on 34 felony counts

US President Joe Biden has called on Americans to accept the guilty verdict handed down to his political rival, Donald Trump. Biden argued that his presidential predecessor was “reckless” and “irresponsible” to suggest that the trial was orchestrated by the White House.

Trump, currently the presumptive Republican nominee to challenge Biden in this November’s presidential election, was found guilty on Thursday of 34 counts of falsifying business records. New York prosecutors successfully argued that Trump concealed the payments – made to porn star Stormy Daniels – in order to influence the 2016 election.

“The American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed,” Biden said on Friday, in his first public remarks since the conviction. “Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself,” the president continued, adding that Trump was judged “by a jury of 12 citizens” and can now appeal the conviction “like anyone else.”

Trump has long maintained that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, brought the case on Biden’s orders, and that judge Juan Merchan, whose family fundraises for Democrats, was too “conflicted” to oversee the trial fairly. The former president also complained that a jury in New York, which overwhelmingly votes Democrat, would be inherently biased against him.

“They’re in total conjunction with the White House and [Department of Justice],” Trump told reporters outside his Trump Tower property earlier on Friday. “This is all done by Biden and his people. Nobody’s ever seen anything like it.”

Trump said that he intends to appeal the “scam” judgment, and called November’s election date “the most important day in the history of our country.”

“It’s my honor to be doing this, but it’s a really unpleasant thing, to be honest,” he said, reiterating that he considered the trial “rigged.”

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden shot back.

Asked after the speech whether Trump was right to call himself a “political prisoner” and blame Biden for his conviction, the president paused, said nothing, and grinned at reporters. The Republican Party has described Biden’s grin as “pure evil.”

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