Biden and Trump's reactions to historic trials couldn't be more different

Biden and Trump's reactions to historic trials couldn't be more different
  • President Joe Biden said he would respect the "outcome" of his son's criminal trial.

  • Hunter Biden is the first child of a sitting president to be convicted of a felony.

  • Biden's response is starkly different from how Trump responded to his own conviction.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday underlined his belief that you can't just say the justice system is "rigged" because you don't like a verdict, offering a starkly different response to a historic trial than former President Donald Trump.

Biden reiterated his respect for the judicial process after a Delaware jury found his son Hunter Biden guilty of three felony counts of lying on gun-purchasing forms and unlawfully owning a firearm.

"I will accept the outcome of this case and will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal," Biden said in a statement released by the White House.

It's the first time in the nation's history that a sitting president's child has been found guilty of a felony. Based on the case's particulars, Hunter Biden's legal team faced a stiff challenge in securing an immediate acquittal, but the appeals process could be much more favorable to them.

Biden has also made it clear he won't use his pardon power, one of the few presidential powers that is virtually unquestioned. It's expected that Trump would use his sway over the Justice Department to scuttle the other pending federal cases against him.

In contrast to Biden, Trump lashed out repeatedly before, during, and after his Manhattan criminal trial that resulted in him becoming the first former president to be found guilty of a felony. The former president repeatedly put forward a theory, without evidence, that Biden and the Justice Department were involved in the local case brought against him.

"This was a disgrace. This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt," Trump told reporters in the Manhattan courtroom hallway after a jury found him guilty on all 34 counts.

After the Trump verdict, Biden said Americans can't say they respect the rule of law only when they agree with a jury's verdict.

"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. "Our justice system has endured for nearly 250 years, and it literally is the cornerstone of America — our justice system. The justice system should be respected, and we should never allow anyone to tear it down. It's as simple as that."

Trump and Biden's responses are not the only difference.

Members of the Biden family, led by the first lady, Jill Biden, regularly attended Hunter Biden's trial. In comparison, Trump's wife, Melania, never appeared in the Manhattan courtroom, despite the swarm of Republican lawmakers and vice presidential hopefuls who showed up to support her husband. Some of Trump's adult children did attend the trial.

Trump and Republicans will have to tread carefully going forward

Trump and Republicans have spent years assailing Hunter Biden, who's been made central to House Republicans' ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. Despite years of probes, Republicans have yet to produce direct evidence that Biden participated in an alleged influence-peddling scheme when he was vice president.

But many Americans have sympathy for Hunter Biden's struggle with his drug addiction. Trump himself experienced this when he went after the former vice president's son directly during a 2020 presidential debate.

"My son, my son, my son — like a lot people, like a lot of people you know at home — had a drug problem," Biden said in response to Trump needling him about Hunter. "He's overtaken it, he's fixed it, he's worked on it. And I'm proud of him. I'm proud of my son."

Biden's defense of his son was one of the standout moments of the debate.

Ahead of his rematch with Trump, Biden will have to juggle defending his son with his normal campaign duties. Just hours after the verdict, Biden was set to give a previously scheduled address calling for stricter gun laws.

Hunter Biden's sentencing is expected to take place in mid-October. He could face up to 25 years in prison, but legal experts don't expect him to spend time behind bars as a first-time offender. He faces separate federal-tax charges in September.

Read the original article on Business Insider