Biden Risks Playing Into Trump’s Hands Commenting on Legal Troubles – President Joe Biden risks giving his predecessor Donald Trump a political advantage should he comment on the multiple criminal cases being brought forth against him in New York, Georgia, and by the federal government. Biden has been quiet so far about the political and media circus surrounding the former president’s legal woes.
To date, no former president has been charged with a crime after leaving office. Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon in 1974 after he later left office kept the former president from facing inevitable indictment for crimes committed in the Watergate drama.
Would Joe Biden Pardon Trump?
Some commentators have suggested that Biden should pre-emptively pardon Trump to deny him the ability to play the role of political martyr in 2024.
“But I do know that this is a discombobulated, haphazard, aggrieved ex-president who routinely took actions that were not only against the nation’s best interests, but against his own best interests. Keeping the papers appears to have been a sloppy, ego-driven move with little more at its heart than resentment, and the only person likely to have been harmed by all of this is Trump himself,” New York Daily News columnist Wendell Jamieson wrote last October. “A pardon takes it all off the table. It would be one less thing for Trump fans to hang their hate on. Garland would be spared late-night battles in his mind: What should I do? How can I squeeze out of this rock and hard place?”
Biden’s constitutional power to grant reprieve only extends to federal crimes. He would have no power to stop criminal proceedings on the state level, such as those under consideration in Georgia and New York.
What Should Biden Do?
If the president were to comment it could help further the perception that Trump faces a partisan witch hunt and that the prosecutions are meant to keep him from returning to power in the 2024 election.
“If Mr. Trump is indicted by a state grand jury, Mr. Biden would be wise not to comment on that criminal case, in part because there is an ongoing federal investigation being conducted by a special counsel within the Justice Department,” NBC News legal analyst Chuck Rosenberg, a former U.S. attorney in Virginia, said.
Democratic strategists are urging Biden to treat lightly to avoid giving Trump any political leeway.
“It would be smart for Democrats to let this unfold and not politicize it too much,” Lis Smith, a Democratic strategist and adviser to Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 presidential campaign, told NBC News. “If they do jump all over it, it gives Donald Trump and the Republicans an opportunity to say this is a witch hunt.”
State of Play on Trump Indictment
Worries that the rumored indictment against the former president would come out this week have fizzled out. A protest on Monday by members of the New York Young Republicans outside of Manhattan Criminal Court proved to be a bust. More reporters showed up to cover the spectacle than who appeared to cover the gathering.
Biden administration national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the rumored protests were being monitored “as you would think we should, particularly in the wake of what happened on January 6th.”
Trump being indicted likely would not change the political dynamic because people who were going to vote for Trump still will, and those who support the president will still do so.
“The people who believe that he’s lawless believe he’s lawless whether he’s indicted or not,” said Amanda Loveday, a former aide to Rep. Jim Clyburn, D.-S.C., and an adviser to Unite the Country, a group promoting Biden’s policy agenda. “The people who don’t think he’s lawless don’t think he’s lawless even if he gets indicted. Trump is one of those really special politicians who you believe what you want to believe about him, whether it’s fact or fiction.”
Biden can only lose politically if he listens to the “Get Trump” movement and speaks in support of the criminal prosecutions against Trump.
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John Rossomando’s work has been featured in numerous publications such as The American Thinker, Daily Wire, Red Alert Politics, CNSNews.com, The Daily Caller, Human Events, Newsmax, The American Spectator, TownHall.com, and Crisis Magazine. He also served as senior managing editor of The Bulletin, a 100,000-circulation daily newspaper in Philadelphia, and received the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors first-place award in 2008 for his reporting.