US President Joe Biden dismissed suggestions that a potential indictment of his predecessor and top 2024 rival Donald Trump by the Justice Department would be politically motivated, telling reporters he was “honest”.
“You’ll notice I have never once, one single time suggested the Justice Department what they should do or not do relative to bring in a charge or not bring a charge. I’m honest,” Biden said on Thursday (June 8) during a press conference with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the White House.
The former president’s legal team has been notified by federal prosecutors that Trump is the target of a federal investigation into his handling of classified documents — in what could be a signal that the special counsel investigating the matter is readying charges.
Investigators have been examining whether Trump improperly removed classified documents from the White House at the end of his term, and if he deliberately thwarted efforts by the government to secure their return.
The FBI executed a search warrant last year at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, yielding dozens of documents with classification markings. A parade of Trump aides, including former chief of staff Mark Meadows and staffers working in his post-presidential office, have appeared in recent weeks before grand juries in Washington and Miami.
Trump posted on his Truth Social platform earlier on Wednesday that “no one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done NOTHING wrong”.
An indictment would come as Trump has emerged as the frontrunner in the Republican presidential primary to challenge Biden in 2024. Trump has held a substantial lead over other challengers since declaring his intention to run, and that advantage grew after prosecutors in New York indicted him in a separate case involving alleged hush money payments to an adult film actress during the 2016 presidential campaign.
A separate special counsel was also appointed to investigate Biden’s own handling of classified material after documents were found at a Washington office he used after his time as vice president. Federal agents subsequently seized additional materials from Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, after being invited to search the property by the president’s lawyers.
Biden has previously downplayed those documents as “stray papers” inadvertently packed by his staffers and sought to draw contrast with Trump by noting he voluntarily agreed to the searches.