Reporter asks if Biden is worried about being indicted after Trump arraignment

 April 5, 2023

Joe Biden's press secretary refused to comment Tuesday when asked if the president is worried about indictments after the unprecedented arraignment of Donald Trump.

Fox News' Peter Doocy pressed Karine Jean-Pierre on whether Biden is concerned about the precedent being set by a prosecutor indicting a politician they "don't like."

“President Biden is a lawyer — as a lawyer, is he concerned at all that a local DA indicting a former president could down the line open up the possibility, set the precedent that local DAs that don’t like former President Biden could indict him?” Doocy asked.

Showing unusual restrain, Biden's normally hyper-partisan press secretary declined to answer.

Biden silent on indictment

Doocy pressed for a comment on Trump's indictment, but Jean-Pierre wouldn't budge.

"I think the American people should feel reassured that when there is an ongoing case like this one, that we’re just not commenting,” she said.

Jean-Pierre told another reporter that Biden isn't dwelling on the arraignment of his likely electoral rival in 2024, although he may passively absorb some news about Trump's case.

"The president’s going to focus on the American people like he does every day, this is not something that is a focus for him,” she said.

Biden also gave no comment when asked about the arraignment Tuesday.

Feigning indifference?

The Biden White House is likely wary of feeding a perception that the indictment is politically motivated.

Trump and many on the right have condemned Manhattan's criminal case against Trump over "hush money" as a thinly veiled attempt to interfere in the 2024 election and help Biden.

Whether Biden outsourced a political hit to a local prosecutor, or prosecutor Alvin Bragg is acting independently, Biden has little to gain from commenting. By feigning indifference, Biden can look like he's "just doing his job."

Double standard

As for Biden's own legal exposure, many are skeptical that the president or his family will ever face consequences for alleged crimes, including Biden's mishandling of classified information and potential financial crimes tied to his son Hunter Biden's influence peddling abroad.

Hunter has been under federal investigation for more than four years, but rumors he would face charges have not come to fruition, fueling a widespread belief that politically connected Democrats are effectively above the law.

After the Trump indictment, some Republicans have discussed pursuing criminal cases against Democrats to even the score, although it remains to be seen whether this is merely bluster.

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