Biden says Trump verdict shows no one is above the law

President Joe Biden on Friday said that Donald Trump’s conviction in the hush money trial reaffirmed “the American principle that no one is above the law.”

Speaking from the White House, Biden said the jury consisted of regular Americans who heard evidence and returned a unanimous verdict.

“Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself,” Biden said. “A state case, not a federal case, was heard by a jury of 12 citizens. Twelve Americans. Twelve people like you, like millions of Americans who served on juries.”

He said Trump’s jury was “chosen the same way every jury in America” and was “a process that Donald Trump’s attorney was part of.”

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

Biden said Trump would now have the opportunity to appeal the decision because “that’s how the American system of justice works.”

“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 said, taking Trump and his supporters’ words directly. “Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years, and it literally is the cornerstone of America.”

Speaking to reporters Friday in New York, Trump repeated his frequent claim that the case in which he was convicted “is all done by Biden and his people.” There is no evidence that Biden, his White House aides or the US Justice Department had any role in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution – and Bragg, a Democrat, is a locally elected official who does not report to the federal government.

Asked by a reporter at the White House later Friday about Trump’s accusation that he was behind the former president’s conviction, Biden smiled and paused.

“I didn’t know I was that powerful,” he said.

The president also said he wasn’t worried that charges could be brought against him after his term in office.

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

This story has been updated with additional details.

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