Biden calls Trump ‘reckless and dangerous’ over claims trial was rigged | Joe Biden

Joe Biden has called Donald Trump “reckless and dangerous” over the former president’s claim that the trial leading to last week’s felony conviction in a Manhattan court was rigged.

In his sharpest criticism yet of his predecessor’s drive to undermine the legal integrity of the prosecution against him, the president also said a second Trump presidency would be a much greater threat to American democracy than his first. He likened Trump’s rejection of the court verdict against him to his refusal to accept that he lost the 2020 presidential election.

“[Trump] wants you to believe it’s all rigged. Nothing could be further from the truth,” Biden told a fundraising audience in Greenwich, Connecticut.

“It’s reckless and dangerous and downright irresponsible for anyone to say that it’s rigged just because you don’t like the verdict.”

Biden’s comments followed a concerted onslaught from Trump following last Thursday’s conviction on 34 counts of document falsification charges relating to hush-money payments made to an adult film actor, Stormy Daniels, shortly before the 2016 presidential election, which Trump won.

They came on the eve of testimony from the US attorney general, Merrick Garland, on Capitol Hill after being summoned by Republicans on the House of Representatives’ judiciary committee to answer their accusations that the justice department has been weaponised against Trump and his allies.

Trump has accused Biden of directing the prosecution brought by the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, that led to last week’s conviction – which has made the first ever former president to become a convicted felon.

But Biden pointed out that the trial was based on a New York state, rather than a federal case, and said the jury who convicted Trump was chosen in the same way juries are selected across the US. The guilty verdict followed five weeks of evidence.

He also said an independent judicial system was an essential bedrock of US democracy, adding: “We should never allow anyone to tear it down.”

Trump is due to be formally adopted as the Republican nominee at the party’s national convention which opens in Milwaukee on 15 July – four days after he is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Juan Merchan, who presided over his trial and whom he has called “a devil”.

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Speaking at a fundraiser hosted by Richard Plepler, the former chief executive of HBO, Biden appeared to question Trump’s mental state, suggesting he had been literally driven “crazy” by his 2020 election defeat.

“Here’s what is becoming clearer and clearer every day: the threat Trump poses in his second term would be greater than it was in his first,” Biden said. “This isn’t the same Trump that got elected in 2016. He’s worse.”

Echoing a theme touched on by the actor Robert De Niro in a recently released pro-Biden campaign, the president suggested that Trump had “snapped” mentally after his election defeat, which prompted an attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, by a mob inspired by him trying to overturn the result.

“Something snapped in this guy – for real – when he lost in 2020,” Biden said. “He can’t accept the fact that he lost, it’s literally driving him crazy.”

He cited some of Trump’s extremist language, including a suggestion that he could “terminate the [US] constitution” and a message to his supporters that “if he loses there will be a bloodbath in America”.

“What kind of man is this?” Biden said.

He did not mention the trial of his son Hunter for the illegal possession of a firearm, which opened on Monday in a court in Delaware.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, dismissed Biden remarks, saying: “[Biden] will do anything to distract from Hunter’s trial.”

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