Biden’s 2022 Promise to Stop Trump Led to Legal Actions Against Him


In November 2022, President Joe Biden pledged to use measures beyond voting to prevent former President Donald Trump from being re-elected. This promise heralded a series of legal actions against Trump, casting doubt on Biden’s claims of no White House involvement, with one significant date standing out.

On November 18, three events associated with the White House ignited an unprecedented wave of legal challenges against Trump.

The Trigger – Biden’s Promise to Block Trump

Biden’s words were startling.

“We just have to demonstrate that he will not take power, if he does run, making sure he, under legitimate efforts of our Constitution, does not become the next president again [sic],” Biden said.

This declaration appears to have set off a nationwide effort, leading to significant legal maneuvers against Trump shortly after Biden’s vow. Notably, three critical actions occurred on November 18 – just nine days later.

The timeline and impact of these events suggest coordinated efforts by the Biden White House, resulting in Trump facing charges in various jurisdictions:

The events that day notably revived a dormant business records investigation and catalyzed multiple federal probes, culminating in a series of indictments against Trump. These legal battles have incurred substantial costs, restricted his campaign travel, and resulted in one conviction so far in a contentious Manhattan verdict.

Garland Appoints Jack Smith

The most prominent event on November 18 was Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel.

Smith, noted for controversial prosecutions of political figures, has faced scrutiny for his interpretations of the law. His victory against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was overturned by the Supreme Court, and his case against John Edwards ended with an acquittal and a hung jury. The DOJ chose not to retry Edwards.

Jack Smith

Special counsel Jack Smith speaks to reporters Friday, June 9, 2023, in Washington (AP Photo/Alex Brandon).

Jack Smith’s aggressive prosecution methods have been highlighted by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), showing his involvement in the IRS targeting of conservatives during the Obama era.

Smith’s appointment, deemed unconstitutional by many legal experts due to his non-Senate-confirmed status, was highly irregular. Special counsels are typically Senate-confirmed officials.

Smith’s appointment marked a turning point, re-energizing stalled DOJ investigations. His handling of classified documents in Florida and alleged election interference in Washington reinforced his controversial approach. His wife’s ties to Biden and other Democrats added to the complexities.

The Florida case targeted violations of the Espionage Act rather than straightforward unlawful retention of classified documents, while the Washington case accused Trump of election interference in a novel manner. Both cases face delays, unlikely to resolve before the election.

Nathan Wade Spends Day at White House

Concurrent with Garland’s announcement, Nathan Wade, Fani Willis’s top prosecutor, spent an extensive eight hours in the White House counsel’s office. This came to light through Mike Roman’s defense discovery documents in the Fulton County case.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 14: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building on August 14, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. A grand jury today handed up an indictment naming former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies over an alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election results in the state. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis speaks during a news conference at the Fulton County Government building on August 14, 2023, in Atlanta, Georgia (Joe Raedle/Getty Images).

Wade’s billing records confirmed his official White House visit, with billings for hours spent there. Such access is rare among county prosecutors.

Wade, brought in specifically for the Trump investigation, accelerated the prosecution’s momentum post-meeting. A grand jury recommended indictments against Trump soon after, with charges filed in April 2023. Wade later resigned amid reports of a personal relationship with Willis.

Michael Colangelo Leaves Biden Administration for Manhattan DA’s Office

The third critical event on November 18 involved Acting Associate Attorney General Michael Colangelo’s surprising move to the Manhattan DA’s office.

Colangelo’s transition was unexpected, given his high-ranking DOJ status and White House access. News of his new role broke on December 5, 2022, suggesting he likely gave notice on November 18.

Michael Colangelo

Matthew Colangelo (Justice Department/Screenshot)

Colangelo’s departure to a lesser role sparked comments from Trump’s attorney Will Scharf, highlighting its unusual nature.

Colangelo’s move coincided with renewed vigor in Manhattan’s Trump investigation. District Attorney Alvin Bragg, initially hesitant, pursued charges after Colangelo’s arrival, leading to Trump’s conviction on 34 felony counts, now under appeal.

Colangelo was central to the case, even handling opening arguments. This connection was highlighted by Scharf in a discussion with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

Biden Continues Denying Lawfare Coordination

November 18, 2022, is pivotal in the legal actions against Trump, a crucial moment in U.S. political history.

Despite clear timelines, Biden’s White House has denied orchestrating the prosecutions against Trump, even as legal efforts mount across multiple states to invoke the Fourteenth Amendment against Trump’s candidacy.

In May, following Trump’s conviction, Biden was asked about his role in these efforts.

“Can you tell us, sir — Donald Trump refers to himself as a political prisoner and blames you directly. What’s your response to that, sir?” asked a reporter.

In response, Biden highlighted a smug grin before walking away.

Bradley Jaye
Bradley Jaye
Political reporter.

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