White House hopes to keep potential Trump indictment at arm’s-length

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The White House hopes to avoid discussing a potential indictment of former President Donald Trump in aims of allowing the legal process play out without influence from the administration. José Luis Villegas/AP

White House hopes to keep potential Trump indictment at arm’s-length

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The White House hopes to avoid discussing a potential indictment of former President Donald Trump in the aim of allowing the legal process play out without influence from the administration.

Biden and top aides have thus far avoided discussing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into Trump’s potential falsifying of business records regarding a hush money payment for porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Trump, on the other hand, has claimed that Bragg is “taking his orders from D.C.” and went so far as predicting his own Tuesday arrest over the weekend, though reports now indicate an indictment could be delivered in the next week.

“How can a highly controversial, George Soros backed District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, who presides over one of the most crime ridden, violent, and dangerous Cities in the U.S., with no retribution toward these heinous criminals, bring charges against the 45th, and quite possibly the 47th, President of the United States, who received more votes than any sitting President in history, over 75,000,000, and who is currently leading all candidates, by a lot, when there is NO CRIME OF ANY KIND???” the president posted on Truth Social. “Biden wants to pretend he has nothing to do with the Manhattan D.A.’s Assault on Democracy when, in fact, he has ‘stuffed’ the D.A.’s Office with Department of Injustice people, including one top DOJ operative from D.C.”

Biden has sought to appear impartial from the Justice Department, and allies told the Washington Examiner that the silence regarding Trump’s legal situation continues that trend.

“So I’m going to be, again, really careful here as it relates to any upcoming elections, and specifically, I’m assuming you’re talking about the 2024 election. I’m just not going to give any analysis, any foresight, any kind of decision or thoughts on that,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier this week. “We are covered by the Hatch Act, so not going to speak to politics, and I’m just going to leave it there.”

Democratic Party officials and operatives added that, by not engaging, the White House hopes to force Republicans themselves to take a side on the issue.

“Trump wants a knife fight,” one campaign veteran familiar with Biden’s team told the Washington Examiner. “The best thing Biden can do is just say no. It will show the public he’s above the fray.”

“The primary candidates are going to get asked if Trump should still run if he’s indicted, and Biden can just let the whole thing play out as the GOP splits down the middle.”

Some Democrats do acknowledge concerns that potential indictments from Bragg’s office complicate the litany of other legal issues surrounding the former president, specifically special counsel Jack Smith’s Trump investigations.

Smith’s team has reportedly gathered evidence that Trump deliberately misled his own legal team regarding his mishandling of classified materials after entering office.

Trump denied the “illegally leaked” ABC News report upon its publication Tuesday night.

“Shame on Fake News ABC for broadcasting ILLEGALLY LEAKED false allegations from a Never Trump, now former chief judge, against the Trump legal team,” his campaign said in a statement. “The deranged Democrats and their comrades in the mainstream media are corrupting the legal process and weaponizing the justice system in order to manipulate public opinion, because they are clearly losing the political battle.”

The White House, however, opened Wednesday morning by focusing on another potential Republican presidential candidate, accusing former Vice President Mike Pence of continuing “an alarming trend of Republican leaders both selling out hardworking middle class families and undermining basic American freedoms — especially the right of women to make their own health care decisions.”

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“The American people spoke forcefully on all of these issues in the best midterms for a new Democratic president in 60 years. Americans don’t want their earned benefits cut, they don’t want their freedoms curtailed, and they’re tired of divisive attacks on mainstream values,” White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. “They support President Biden’s vision of an economy that works from the bottom-up and the middle-out, not the top-down. And they support restoring Roe v. Wade’s protections of basic freedoms.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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