Biden calls Trump’s attacks on justice system ‘reckless’ and ‘dangerous’ in first comments after conviction

President Joe Biden broke his silence on Donald Trump’s historic criminal conviction on Friday, slamming his “reckless” attacks on the trial and insisting the guilty verdict is evidence that America’s justice system works.

In remarks from the White House, Biden said the Thursday jury verdict shows that the “American principle that no one is above the law” had been “reaffirmed.”

“Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself,” he said, adding that the case against Trump had been brought in a state court, not a federal one, and was decided by an ordinary jury of “12 citizens, 12 Americans, 12 people like you” that was chosen “the same way every jury in America is chosen”.

“The jury heard five weeks of evidence ... after careful deliberation, the jury reached a unanimous verdict. They found Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts,” he said.

The president added that Trump will be given the same opportunity to appeal his conviction that is available to any convicted defendant.

“That’s how the American system of justice works,” he said.

Biden’s remarks came just hours after Trump appeared in the lobby of his eponymous skyscraper in Manhattan to deliver an unhinged rant in which he called the country he once led a “fascist state” and attacked his enemies, including the judge who oversaw his hush money trial and the witnesses who testified against him.

Speaking to an audience of reporters and supporters Trump falsely claimed that Biden could put an end to the case that was brought against him by New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a New York court.

“We have a president and a group of fascists that don’t want to do anything about it. Because they could right now today, he could stop it — but he’s not,” he said. He also attacked the judge who’d heard the case against him, calling him “the devil” and “conflicted.”

Biden directly addressed the ex-president’s remarks, saying it was “reckless, dangerous” and “irresponsible” for anyone to call a proceeding “rigged” “just because they don’t like the verdict”.

“Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years. And it literally is the cornerstone of America. Our justice system ... should be respected. We should never allow anyone to tear it down. It's as simple as that. That's America. That's who we are,” he said.

The president’s comments came in stark contrast to those of Trump, who has routinely accused him of masterminding the criminal cases against him, including two sets of federal charges brought by a special prosecutor and another set of felony charges he is facing in a Georgia court.

Trump and many of his allies have threatened to exact retribution on Democrats by charging prominent members of that party with crimes, including Biden.

Asked whether he’s concerned about GOP turnabout should he lose to Trump in November, Biden told reporters at a Thursday afternoon event to honor the NFL champion Kansas City Chiefs that he wasn’t worried about any such thing.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. The system still works,” he said.

Pressed further on Trump’s claim that he’s ultimately responsible for the case that resulted in the first-ever felony convictions against the ex-president, Biden replied: “I didn’t know I was that powerful.”