Joe Biden’s re-election campaign isn’t going to focus on Donald Trump’s legal woes, co-chair Cedric Richmond said Sunday, as the president continues to refrain from talking directly about his predecessor’s four criminal indictments.
“The president has said from the beginning that he wanted an independent Justice Department, and we have to do just that,” Richmond, who previously was a top aide to Biden in the White House, said in an interview on ABC News’ “This Week.” “So we’re not going to comment. We’re not going to focus on Donald Trump’s legal problems.”
Biden has taken shots at Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, over a number of issues in recent months, as well as his Make America Great Again agenda, but he has stayed mum on discussing the four separate indictments against Trump that have plagued the early race for the White House.
As Trump traveled to the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta on Thursday night to surrender on charges related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, a battleground state, Biden posted a link to donate to his campaign on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Apropos of nothing, I think today’s a great day to give to my campaign,” he wrote in the post.
Richmond insisted that Biden wasn’t referring to the indictment: “No, those emails go out — you get five and six of them a day — so I wouldn’t read much into that.”
In separate cases, special counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump this month on federal charges that he conspired to defraud the country and tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of presidential power to Biden, and he indicted him in June over his alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left office.
Trump was also indicted this month, along with 18 co-defendants, on felony state charges in connection with alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia. The fourth indictment came months after Trump became the first former president to face criminal charges when a grand jury in New York City voted to indict him in March in a case centered on hush money payments made toward the end of his 2016 campaign.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in the hush money, classified documents and election conspiracy cases. His arraignment in the Georgia case, which will allow him to enter a plea, hasn’t yet been scheduled; he has vehemently denied any wrongdoing in statements in all four cases.
Trump declined to participate in last week’s first Republican primary presidential debate, at which the GOP field of candidates were asked whether they would still support Trump as the GOP nominee even he is convicted of felonies.
Most of the candidates onstage, except for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, raised their hands in support of Trump.
Christie, a former Trump ally who broke with him following his baseless claims of widespread election fraud, said it was “amazing” that most of his Republican rivals said they would support Trump as the eventual nominee in an interview Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“It was really the most amazing part of the debate to me, was the idea that, you know, the majority of my competitors believe that you can have a convicted felon as our nominee for president and that they’d support that and that he could win,” Christie said. “I think that’s an impossibility.”
Hutchinson, who is also a frequent critic of Trump, echoed Christie.
“Well, I was surprised. It was a very clear question as to whether we would support Donald Trump if he’s convicted of serious felonies. And I was the only one that … said very clearly that I would not support him,” Hutchinson said in an interview Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I was surprised at that. That didn’t seem to be a difficult question to me.”
Meanwhile, an attorney for Trump denied that his team has concerns over the mounting criminal charges, which it has dismissed as a political hit job.
“We’re not concerned, because we know the facts of these cases, which I can’t get into, obviously, for privileged reasons,” Alina Habba said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “But I can tell you that it’s to tie him up. It’s definitely political.”
Summer Concepcion is a politics reporter for NBC News.