Biden plans to remain silent on Trump document accusations

By Andrea Shalal and Heather Timmons

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Don’t expect U.S. President Joe Biden to comment on the 37-count indictment against Donald Trump that accuses the former president of risking some of the world’s biggest security secrets. country’s sensitive after leaving the White House in 2021.

Administration officials plan to remain silent on Trump’s indictment, reflecting Biden’s view that no president should interfere with the Justice Department, administration sources said. Given that Trump is Biden’s main rival in the 2024 presidential race, the campaign should proceed with caution in any mention of the charges, some political experts say.

Many other Republicans challenging Trump in 2024 have berated the Justice Department, not Trump, over the documents, and accused Biden of ‘weaponizing’ the department, even though Trump’s indictment has been delivered. by a grand jury.

So far, Biden’s campaign has not mentioned the indictment. On Saturday, he tweeted about infrastructure.

“Let me say silence is the best response,” said Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Going forward, the Biden campaign’s best strategy is simply to encourage people to read the indictment, said Jeremi Suri, a historian and presidential scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, while circulating the comments from Republicans like Trump’s former attorney general, who on Sunday said Trump was “toast” if the accusations are proven true.

The campaign should also remind the public that the indictment came from the people of Florida in a grand jury, not the Biden administration, Suri said.

“They should do everything they can to make it look like they’re not politicizing this while politicizing this,” he said.

Biden declined to answer shouted questions about the indictment in Washington on Saturday when he left the Catholic church where he worships, heading straight for his waiting limo and jumping his usual wave at waiting reporters. On Friday, he said he had not spoken to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and had no intention of doing so.

Even speaking off the record, many Biden officials have carefully avoided commenting on the 37 charges Trump faces for his handling of classified documents. And congressional Democrats close to Biden have emphasized the rule of law rather than taking the opportunity to attack Trump.

“It is a sad day for a former President of the United States to be criminally charged by the federal government, but the foundation of the rule of law in our democracy is that no man is above rule of law. I remain confident that he will get the justice he is due and the legal process to which he is entitled,” said Delaware Senator Chris Coons.

Biden has often criticized Trump policies and the extremism of his supporters without naming Trump himself, a strategy political pundits have said in the past has appealed to Americans weary from the chaos of the previous administration.

Biden, a Democrat, won the presidency in 2020 by directly attacking Trump, promising to restore what he called “the soul of America” ​​after his predecessor’s tumultuous four years in office.

As the longtime former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden was so disturbed by Trump’s repeated attempts to influence and attack the Justice Department during his tenure that it was one of his motivations for running for president in 2020, an administrative source said.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Heather Timmons in Washington; Editing by Mark Porter)

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