Biden says public must block Trump if Supreme Court will not

In a strikingly political speech from the White House, President Joe Biden blasted the Supreme Court ruling that granted broad presidential immunity, condemned Donald Trump for the Jan. 6 riot and urged voters to reject him.

Biden, making his first remarks from the White House since his faltering debate with Trump last week, called the Supreme Court decision a “terrible disservice” to the country that would make it extremely unlikely that the former president would go on trial for his role in the riot before the November election.

“The American people must decide whether Donald Trump’s assault on our democracy on Jan. 6 makes him unfit for public office in the highest office in the land. The American people must decide if Trump’s embrace of violence, to preserve his power, is acceptable,” he said. “Perhaps most importantly, the American people must decide if they want to trust the … presidency to Donald Trump.”

The remarks, in which he read from a teleprompter and took no questions from journalists, came amid questions about Biden’s ability to campaign and hold office after a debate in which he seemed to lose his train of thought and struggle to respond to Trump.

The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, narrowed the case against Trump for his alleged efforts to subvert the 2020 election and stay in power.

Biden said the court’s decision would “fundamentally” change the nature of the presidency, leaving presidents with unprecedented authority.

“Today’s decision almost certainly means that there are virtually no limits on what a president can do,” he said. “It’s a dangerous precedent.”

Biden’s no-holds-barred attack on the Supreme Court’s decision represented a departure from his earlier reluctance to comment on developments in special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation.

Just last month, after a jury convicted the president’s son Hunter on gun-related charges in federal court in Delaware, in a separate special counsel investigation, the White House seemed to acknowledge it was unwise or improper for the president to weigh in.

In court, Trump’s lawyers have already tried to capitalize on remarks by the president and press reports about the White House’s eagerness to see Trump prosecuted.

Those accounts have been fodder for motions seeking to dismiss the pending federal cases for selective prosecution.

Biden’s statement Monday is also sure to feature prominently in motions claiming it will be difficult or impossible to seat a jury to hear the federal election-fraud case against Trump.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the president’s statement appears to reflect a conclusion that in the wake of Monday’s Supreme Court decision a jury trial in the Trump case in advance of the election is so remote that little reason remained for Biden to hold back.

Biden, who had been at the Camp David presidential retreat this week, gave the remarks after returning to the White House slightly earlier than scheduled.

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