The Department of Justice unsealed an indictment of Trump on Friday with 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified documents following his departure from the White House.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday he had not spoken to Attorney General Merrick Garland and had no plans to do so, as the Justice Department’s indictment of former President Donald Trump was unsealed.
“I have not spoken to him at all and I’m not going to speak with him,” Biden said, when asked by a reporter if he would speak to the attorney general, continuing a pattern of distancing himself from the DOJ’s investigation into his political rival.
Republican hopefuls have alleged, without evidence, that the investigation into Trump, who is running to unseat Biden from the White House in 2024, is politically motivated. Biden and top officials have repeatedly said the DOJ is acting independently.
As the charges against Trump were unsealed, Biden was in North Carolina, where he was discussing his economic agenda and had plans to meet with military members.
It has been noted that White House spokesperson Olivia Dalton had said earlier that Biden found out about the indictment of his former rival at the same time others did and had not had advance knowledge of it. She declined further comment.
“This is a president who respects the rule of law,” she told reporters on Air Force One. “That’s precisely why we’re not commenting here.”
Garland, who last appeared publicly with Biden at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, appointed special prosecutor Jack Smith, who is not registered with any political party, to head the investigation last year.
Trump sought to challenge the legitimacy of FBI search warrants last year related to the probe, but a conservative-leaning federal appeals court rejected his arguments.