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Updated May 31, 2024, 2:10pm EDT
politicsNorth America

Biden breaks silence on Trump verdict: ‘No one is above the law’

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on May 31, 2024.
Evelyn Hockstein/REUTERS
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President Joe Biden reacted to Donald Trump’s conviction for the first time on Friday, saying “the American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed” by the verdict.

In remarks from the White House, Biden emphasized that Trump can appeal the decision “just like everyone else,” and said “it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible” for anyone to suggest the trial was “rigged” because they disagree with the outcome.

Republican lawmakers tossed around words like “rigged” — along with “sham” and “unAmerican” — to denounce the verdict on Thursday, blaming the “kangaroo court” and Biden administration for the “political persecution” of Trump. In his remarks, Biden pointed out that this was a state case, not a federal one.

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Biden’s re-election campaign released a statement on the conviction Thursday evening, but before Friday the president’s response to major developments in the trial and its verdict had been characteristically muted.

In Thursday’s historic decision, a New York jury found the presumptive Republican presidential nominee guilty on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records as part of a conspiracy to mislead voters ahead of the 2016 US presidential election.

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