On Wednesday morning, President Biden went on a bike ride near his beach home in Rehoboth, Del. The president circled Gordons Pond, a favorite trail that passes through coastal marshlands. As he approached a scrum of reporters, one of them shouted a single word in the president’s direction, a question that did not need elaboration: “Indictments?”
Biden rode by without answering.
The question, of course, referred to the charges brought by special counsel Jack Smith on Tuesday against former President Donald Trump. Smith’s latest indictment alleges that Trump and accomplices engaged in a conspiracy to subvert the results of 2020’s presidential election — which Biden won.
Trump will be in court on Thursday in Washington.
Biden will continue to soak up the sun.
The president “seems to be vacationing with vigor,” another reporter who accompanied him to Delaware noted. New York and Washington may be engulfed by the news of Trump’s latest indictment — there have been several, with several more likely to come — but President Biden and Jill Biden seem to be perfectly happy keeping away from the action.
Read more from Yahoo News: Biden hits the beach – and ditches the shirt, via AFP
A contrast with Republicans
The Bidens regularly vacation in Rehoboth, and the timing of this week’s getaway appears to be little more than coincidence. But it is the kind of coincidence President Biden welcomes, underscoring as it does the contrast between his administration and a Republican Party embroiled in Trump’s endless dramas.
Back in January, as House Republicans were in the middle of a bitter fight about whether to elect Kevin McCarthy their next speaker, Biden traveled to the banks of the Ohio River, where he stood with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to underscore their bipartisan efforts to repair American infrastructure.
This time around, Biden’s distance from Washington also highlights — or is at least intended to highlight — Smith’s independence from the White House. Biden has vowed not to put any pressure on the Department of Justice, the way Trump often did, but Republicans have been arguing that the charges are an attempt to undermine Trump’s campaign to unseat Biden next year.
Read more on Yahoo News: Trump’s indictment is a stress test of Biden’s focus on safeguarding democracy, via AP
Witch hunts real and imagined
On Tuesday night, shortly after Smith announced his newest indictment against Trump, President and first lady Biden saw “Oppenheimer,” the critically acclaimed three-hour film directed by Christopher Nolan about J. Robert Oppenheimer, the American physicist whose leadership of the Manhattan Project during World War II led to the creation of the atomic bomb.
After the film, the Bidens strolled on the beach. As has been the case with each new development in Trump’s legal sagas, the president said nothing about his potential competitor in the 2024 presidential election.
Read more on Yahoo News: Biden sees ‘Oppenheimer’ on night Trump gets indicted on Jan. 6 charges, via The Hill
Not all sun and surf
Sooner or later, Biden will have to confront the fury of a Republican Party that is solidly supporting Donald Trump. The former president clearly relishes positioning himself as an underdog under assault from powerful forces — in this case, the Biden administration.
The animus from Republicans could take several forms.
Legislators could try to impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland, or even Biden himself, but those efforts are sure to fail.
More likely, they will accelerate their investigation into Hunter Biden, the president’s troubled son, who is alleged to have had improper business dealings with entities in China and Ukraine.
There is no evidence that Biden, who was Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, was involved in Hunter’s alleged schemes — but the Republicans are not giving up the hunt.
Not after Tuesday.
Read more on Yahoo News: Was Devon Archer’s testimony a Republican silver bullet or just fool’s gold? via The Week