Biden addresses Trump verdict for first time


Washington — President Biden made his first public comments on the conviction of former President Donald Trump in a case relating to a “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, asserting that the “American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed.” 

Speaking from the White House on Friday, Mr. Biden criticized his 2024 rival’s response to the guilty verdict. Trump has claimed the trial was “very unfair” and “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,” Mr. Biden said. “Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years, and it literally is the cornerstone of America. Our justice system. The justice system should be respected. And we should never allow anyone to tear it down. It’s as simple as that. That’s America. That’s who we are, and that’s who we’ll always be, God willing.” 

The New York jury reached a verdict Thursday, finding that Trump illegally falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 payment made in the days before the 2016 election to Daniels to silence her account of a sexual encounter with him. Trump has denied sleeping with Daniels. He was convicted on 34 felony counts. 

Mr. Biden noted that the charges were state charges, not federal charges, after Trump and his allies have falsely accused him and the Justice Department of orchestrating the trial. 

“Now he will be given the opportunity, as he should, to appeal that decision, just like everyone else has that opportunity,” Mr. Biden said. 

Trump, who is the first former president to be convicted of a crime, said Friday that he is “going to fight” and appeal the conviction. 

The president’s comments about Trump preceded his remarks about an Israeli cease-fire proposal.

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