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President Biden: It's 'reckless' to say Trump verdict was rigged

The president made his first public comments since the verdict was announced Thursday.
President Joe Biden
Posted at 12:45 PM, May 31, 2024

President Joe Biden said former President Donald Trump's trial and guilty verdict thereafter were a reaffirming sign that "no one is above the law" in America.

In his first public remarks on the case since the verdict Thursday, the president said Trump "had every opportunity to defend himself" in the state case and pointed to the jury being made up of "12 citizens, 12 Americans, 12 people like you." He reminded the public that Trump's attorney was part of that process, particularly now that the Republican has denied that the case was fair or just.

"That's how the American justice system works, and it's reckless, it's dangerous, it's irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don't like the verdict," the president said.

After less than two full days of deliberating, a jury of seven men and five women unanimously decided Trump was guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records in his New York criminal hush money trial — a first for a former American president.

While leaving the courthouse, the Republican presidential front-runner said he was an "innocent man" and blamed Democrats and the Biden administration for the ruling.

"This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt," Trump said. "The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people. We didn't do a thing wrong."

Former President Donald Trump returns from a break in his criminal trial

Trump on Trial

Reactions after former President Donald Trump found guilty on all 34 counts

Alex Arger
4:30 PM, May 30, 2024

Many Republican lawmakers echoed him in reactions posted to social media Thursday.

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson called it a "shameful day in American history" and the case a "purely political exercise, not a legal one." And Trump's former opponent for the presidential nomination, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, stated a similar claim of the Democratic Party's supposed ill intent, saying the rule of law "should be applied in a dispassionate, even-handed manner, not become captive to the political agenda of some kangaroo court."

Meanwhile, Democrats seemed to view it as an overall win for the country and its legal system, similar to the president's comment Friday.

Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell wrote in a post on X: "This verdict is not a win for any single person. It's a win for an idea. The idea that we all follow the same rules. The rule of law won today."

Trump will likely appeal the verdict — an action President Biden acknowledged in his remarks. And if his attorneys notify the court of his wish to do so, his current sentencing date, July 11, could be delayed. Legal experts told Scripps News the former president's attorneys have about 30 days after sentencing to notify the court, and then they'll be given an additional six months to file a legal brief with a New York appellate court, explaining on what grounds they wish to appeal.