President Biden keeps quiet on Trump grand jury indictment

President Biden keeps quiet on Trump grand jury indictment

President Biden declined to comment Friday on the unprecedented indictment of Donald Trump, the first criminal charge leveled against a former president in US history.

Biden said nothing outside the White House when he was pressed by reporters about the grand jury indictment of Trump, which is apparently over alleged hush money payments he made to porn star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election.

“No, I’m not going to talk about the Trump indictment,” he said. “I have no comment at all.”

Reporters had asked the 80-year-old president whether the indictment would divide the country and if he was worried about potential protests. They also asked whether the charges were politically motivated and what it said about the nation’s rule of law.

A Manhattan grand jury indicted the 76-year-old Trump Thursday afternoon, hours after a month-long break had been expected.

Biden outside the White House
President Biden declined to comment on the grand jury indictment of Trump.

Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago
Trump was reportedly “shocked” to learn of the indictment.
Twitter / @RealDrGina

The charges “shocked” the ex-commander in chief, his lawyer Joe Tacopina told Fox News Thursday night, as the two learned about the grand jury’s indictment through media reports.

“He’s ready to fight. You know, he’s the toughest guy I know. He was shocked, you know, because we really weren’t — I was shocked,” Tacopina told Fox News host Sean Hannity.

At an arraignment expected Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will reportedly charge Trump on 34 counts related to falsifying business records.

“This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,” a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said in a Thursday statement. “Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

The prosecution’s case relies on an untested legal theory that would upgrade misdemeanor business fraud charges to a federal crime, arguing the payments to Daniels violated federal campaign finance rules.

Bragg’s office will seek to prosecute Trump for a $130,000 payment made to Daniels through the former president’s lawyer, Michael Cohen — and potentially another $150,000 payment made to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Alvin Bragg
Bragg’s office will reportedly arraign Trump on Tuesday on 34 counts of business fraud.

Past investigations into the charges were abandoned in recent years by the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and Federal Election Commission.

Bragg — a progressive prosecutor who has been criticized for downgrading most felony charges his office receives — also chose to pursue the felony charges after his predecessor, Cy Vance, declined to take up the case against Trump.

“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said in a statement following the indictment.

Donald Trump with Stormy Daniels
Trump called the indictment “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
Stormy Daniels

The charges also come as Trump and Biden are both under investigation by special counsels appointed by the Justice Department over their handling of classified records.

The FBI seized documents at both of their residences in recent months.

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