Trump Lashes Out, Vows to Appeal Guilty Verdict
Policy + Politics

Trump Lashes Out, Vows to Appeal Guilty Verdict

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Donald Trump today vowed to appeal his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to hush-money payments made to silence an adult film star’s story about a sexual encounter that could have damaged his 2016 presidential campaign.

In a rambling statement from Trump Tower, the former president and presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee again lashed out at the judge and prosecutors. He claimed without evidence that the trial was rigged and falsely alleged that the case against him was the political handiwork of President Joe Biden or his staff. “We’re living in a fascist state,” the former president said.

Biden, in prepared remarks from the White House, defended the legitimacy of the legal process in the Trump case and said the verdict confirmed the core American principle that no one is above the law. “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. “The justice system should be respected, and we should never allow anyone to tear it down.”

Both candidates’ campaigns sought to drum up support — and cash — after the verdict. Republican officials expressed support for Trump and anger at the jury’s decision, which many suggested would galvanize GOP supporters. Trump’s team announced it had raised $34.8 million from small-dollar donors in the hours after the 34 guilty verdicts were handed down, or more than his political operation received in January and February combined.

The Biden camp sent out its own fundraising message Thursday telling supporters: “Despite a jury finding Donald Trump guilty today, there is still only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box.”

Trump is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11, just days before the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.