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Curious timing: Trump hit with indictments whenever incriminating evidence emerges in Biden probes

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The federal indictments of former President Donald Trump have come on the same day or soon after significant developments in a congressional probe into the Biden family finances, prompting Republican lawmakers to insist it’s more than a coincidence.

On Tuesday, special counsel Jack Smith indicted Mr. Trump on four federal criminal counts for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The indictment was filed less than a day after Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden, testified that President Biden spoke to his son’s business associates nearly two dozen times. That directly contradicted Mr. Biden’s claims that he had no knowledge of his son about his business dealings.



Archer also testified that the owner of a Ukrainian energy company — who allegedly told an FBI informant that he was “coerced” into paying $10 million in bribes to Mr. Biden and his son — pressured Hunter Biden to enlist U.S. support for ousting the prosecutor investigating the company.

“It is no coincidence that every time House Republicans’ investigations into the Biden family influence peddling scheme uncover new facts that Biden’s corrupt DOJ announces new charges against his leading political opponent in a desperate attempt to distract the American people,” said House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York. “This is an unconstitutional abuse of power.”

It was the latest in the series of Trump indictments that followed a major revelation in House Republicans’ probe into President Biden and his family’s questionable overseas business deals, which critics say smack of influence peddling.

House Republicans are also looking into whether Mr. Biden, while vice president in the Obama administration, received a $5 million bribe from a Ukrainian energy executive to scuttle a corruption investigation into the company, where Hunter Biden sat on the board.

Key events that have lined up include:

• The Justice Department first indicted Mr. Trump in the classified documents probe on the same day House Republicans viewed an FBI document detailing allegations that Mr. Biden took a bribe.

• Mr. Trump received a letter stating that he was the target of the Jan. 6 probe two days after IRS whistleblowers testified to Congress that the FBI and IRS sabotaged the Hunter Biden tax investigation.

• A superseding indictment against Mr. Trump in the classified documents case and a new indictment against the maintenance manager at Mar-a-Lago was unsealed the day after Hunter Biden’s plea deal on tax and weapons charges blew up in federal court. Both indictments were filed under seal a month earlier, according to court records.

• The day after Archer testified that Mr. Biden sat on calls with Hunter Biden’s business associates, the Justice Department again indicted Mr. Trump for his efforts to reverse the results of the 2020 election and for the events surrounding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“Now that the Bidens are reportedly involved in a bribery scheme with a foreign nation, the DOJ and blue state governments are once again targeting President Trump and anyone who dares to get in the left’s way. That’s not a coincidence,” said Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee Republican, in a statement provided to The Times.

Peter Carr, a spokesperson for Mr. Smith, declined to comment.

Some Justice Department veterans say it is hard to time the indictments to coincide with breaking news because an investigation as sensitive and high-profile as the ones targeting Mr. Trump would require numerous approvals and sign-offs.

“Prosecutors have their own considerations and own view of the Donald Trump investigations and there are so many moving parts, I have trouble thinking some other investigation is impacting their timing,” said former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey.

Still, others say the timing seems a bit unusual.

For example, on July 26, the plea deal in Hunter Biden’s federal criminal case unraveled when U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika questioned a provision that would protect him from future prosecutions. The judge’s move raised questions about whether Hunter Biden’s agreement essentially amounted to a get-out-of-jail-free card.

The next day, Mr. Smith unsealed new charges against Mr. Trump in the classified documents case and unveiled a new defendant in the case, the maintenance manager at Mar-a-Lago. Both indictments were filed under seal on June 8, raising questions about why they were sprung so soon after the Hunter Biden court appearance.

“It does defy skepticism to think that all these things aren’t happening with some degree of coordination,” said Joseph Moreno, a former federal prosecutor. “I don’t see any other explanation for why the Justice Department chose to release the superseding indictment that evening. They could have done it the next day or the next week. There was no rush for it.”

Mr. Moreno said even if the dates are just “honest coincidences,” it still creates the perception the Trump announcements are timed and undermines the public’s faith in the judiciary system.

On June 8, Mr. Smith hit Mr. Trump with his first federal indictment for his handling of sensitive government materials. Earlier in the day, the FBI agreed to allow all members of the House Oversight Committee full access to a confidential document detailing an unverified allegation that Mr. Biden accepted a bribe while serving as vice president.

“The SAME DAY [House Oversight Committee] is shown a document by the FBI showing evidence that Biden and his son were each paid $5 million dollars by a foreign national the DOJ indicts Trump. Coincidental? I think not,” Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, Florida Republican and member of the Oversight and Accountability Committee, wrote on Twitter.

It was revealed on July 18 that Mr. Trump received a letter informing him that he was a target of the Justice Department’s Jan. 6 probe. The revelation, made by Mr. Trump himself, came on the eve of a pair of IRS whistleblowers telling Congress that the Biden administration meddled in the Hunter Biden tax investigation.