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The Instagram post splices unrelated videos to create a narrative of President Biden saying he used the legal system to attack Donald Trump.
Biden doesn’t control the prosecutions against Trump.
Even if Trump is indicted or convicted, he can still rung for and perhaps win back the presidency
No spin, just facts you can trust. Here's how we do it.
As former President Donald Trump runs for office again, he faces a myriad of legal battles from civil defamation lawsuits to charges of insurrection in federal court.
An Instagram video claims President Joe Biden has admitted to being behind his political foe’s legal challenges. In the Jan. 30 post, the video utilizes three different videos: one that features White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre wearing an animated "lie detector" hat and two of Biden speaking.
"Keep voting Democrat," a text on the video says sarcastically followed by a clown emoji. "Exposing the insane hypocrisy of the Biden administration. The biggest contradiction to sit in office," the text added.
The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
But this Instagram post is misleading. It splices together unrelated videos that are months apart to craft a narrative of Biden admitting to using the Justice Department to attack Donald Trump.
One clip shows Jean-Pierre answering a question in November 2022 about the appointment of Jack Smith as special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified documents and the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots. The special counsel is an independent actor, does not take orders from the president and was specifically appointed to address concerns of partisan prosecutions. A different special counsel has also been appointed to investigate Biden’s handling of classified documents when he was vice president.
The first video featuring Biden is also from November 2022 and shows the president answering a journalist’s question about how he intended to allay world leaders fears that Trump would not stage a comeback.
"Well, we just have to demonstrate that he will not take power by — if we — if he does run," Biden said. "I am making sure he, under legitimate efforts of our Constitution, does not become the next president again."
Biden’s comments preceded the announcement of Smith as special prosecutor and was four months ahead of Trump’s first indictment in a case brought by Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney. New York residents elected Bragg and he does not report to Biden.
In the third video, Biden reiterates in a June 2023 press conference that he does not tell the Justice Department "what they should do or not do, relative to bringing a charge or not bringing a charge."
As PolitiFact has previously reported, even if Trump is convicted, it does not bar him from running for president. The U.S. Constitution requires presidents to be natural-born citizens, to be 35 years old and be U.S. residents for at least 14 years. A criminal conviction doesn’t stop someone from running for president.
This is not the first time social media posts have suggested that Biden has said he was behind the prosecutions to stop Trump from being reelected. Independent fact-checkers have previously debunked claims that use videos to claim that Biden is admitting to pulling the strings.
We rate the claim that Biden admitted to using the Justice Department to pursue Trump False.
The White House, Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference, Jun. 8, 2023
The White House, Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference, Nov. 9, 2022
PolitiFact, Donald Trump indictment in Manhattan: A roundup of PolitiFact’s fact-checks, stories and explainers, Apr. 3, 2023
CNN, DOJ appoints special counsel to oversee Trump investigations, Nov. 18, 2022
Politifact, Ask PolitiFact: Can Donald Trump run for president if indicted or convicted of a crime?, Mar. 7, 2022
CNN, Who is Jack Smith, the special counsel named in the Trump investigations, Nov. 19, 2022
NY1, Alvin Bragg elected Manhattan’s first Black district attorney, Nov. 3, 2021
Associated Press, Garland appoints special counsel to investigate Biden docs, Jan. 12, 2023
Newsweek, Fact Check: Clip of Biden Saying He'll 'Stop Trump' Taking Power, Apr 5, 2023
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