Trump says trial was rigged, Biden calls opponent ‘dangerous’



(The Center Square) – Former President Donald Trump said Friday that his hush money trial in New York was rigged after he was convicted of 34 felonies.

President Joe Biden, Trump’s rival in the November election, said Trump’s comments were dangerous.

“That’s how the American system of justice works,” Biden said. “It’s reckless, it’s dangerous and it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict.”

Biden said Trump was convicted by a jury, and like everyone else convicted of crime, he has the opportunity to appeal.

“The American principle that no one is above the law was re-affirmed,” Biden said Friday of the verdict. “Donald Trump was given every opportunity to defend himself. It was a state case, not a federal case. And it was heard by a jury of 12 citizens, 12 Americans, 12 people like you.”

On Friday morning from Trump Tower in New York, Trump said the trial was rigged.

“It was a rigged trial,” Trump said while listing complaints about Judge Juan Merchan’s rulings from the bench.

Trump did not take the stand in his own defense. He said doing so would have been counterproductive.

“I wanted to testify,” Trump said Friday morning. “The theory is you never testify, because as soon as you testify – for anybody, if it were George Washington – don’t testify, because they’ll get you on something that you said slightly wrong, and then they sue you for perjury.”

Trump has blamed his legal problems on Democrats, Biden and Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, who has charged Trump in two federal criminal cases that have yet to go to trial.

Thursday’s verdict ended Trump’s criminal trial, but the legal process will continue. Judge Merchan scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 11. Before the hearing, defense attorneys and prosecutors will submit sentencing recommendations to the judge.

Under New York state law, falsifying business records in the first degree is a Class E felony with a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Trump, 77, is a first-time offender, but that doesn’t preclude a jail or prison sentence.

The conviction doesn’t affect Trump’s ability to campaign for president.

Trump said Friday he plans to appeal the verdict. The former president also could ask that any sentence be postponed during the appeal process.

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