Biden says questioning Trump’s guilty verdicts is ‘dangerous’ and ‘irresponsible’ – Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden noted pointedly Friday that Donald Trump was found guilty by a unanimous jury, and he slammed the former president’s attempts to cast the case against him as politically motivated as “reckless,” “dangerous” and “irresponsible.”

Reacting a day after the conclusion of Trump’s criminal trial in New York, when Biden’s opponent in November’s election was convicted on all 34 felony charges in a hush money case stemming from the 2016 election, Biden said the outcome meant that the “American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed.”

He noted that the jury heard five weeks of evidence before reaching its verdict, and that Trump can appeal the decision just like any other American convicted of a crime. The president also criticized Trump as attempting to undermine important priniciples by suggesting that the case was politically steered by Biden and his administration.

“It’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible, for anyone to say this is rigged just because they don’t like the verdict,” Biden said. He added, “The justice system should be respected and we should never allow anyone to tear it down.”

Biden was at his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, marking the anniversary of the 2015 death of his grown son, Beau from brain cancer when the jury reached its verdicts on Thursday, and he offered no personal reaction to the trial at the time. But he returned to Washington on Friday for an event at the White House with the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, and spoke to reporters about the situation in the Middle East before answering questions about Trump’s case.

Biden didn’t answer subsequent, shouted questions about what he thought of Trump blaming him directly or if Trump’s name should remain on the ballot.

The president’s comments came shortly after Trump spoke to reporters at his namesake tower in Manhattan on Friday. Trump, hoping to galvanize his supporters, cast himself as a martyr, suggesting that if it could happen to him, “they can do this to anyone.”

“I’m willing to do whatever I have to do to save our country and save our Constitution. I don’t mind,” Trump said.

Biden for months had carefully avoided involvement in Trump’s legal drama, looking to keep from feeding into his Republican rival’s claims that his criminal woes were the result of politically motivated prosecutions. But as the New York trial concluded, Biden’s campaign became far more vocal about it.

His campaign had released a series of innuendo-laced statements that alluded to the trial to attack Trump’s policy positions, and then Biden himself quipped that he heard Trump was “free on Wednesdays” — the trial’s scheduled day off — in a video statement when he agreed to debate Trump head-to-head.

With closing arguments underway on Tuesday, Biden’s campaign even showed up outside the Manhattan courthouse with actor Robert De Niro and a pair of former police officers who responded to the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol insurrection, in what it said was an effort to refocus the presidential race on the former president’s role in the riot. That decision came as the campaign felt its message about the stakes of the election was struggling to break through the intense focus on the trial.

Shortly after the verdict Thursday, Biden’s reelection campaign sought to keep the focus on the choice confronting voters in November and the impact of a second Trump presidency.

“A second Trump term means chaos, ripping away Americans’ freedoms and fomenting political violence – and the American people will reject it this November,” Biden spokesman Michael Tyler said in a statement.

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