Was President Joe Biden Ever Arrested and Did He Go to Jail?

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Jan. 12 2022, Published 1:02 p.m. ET

Former President Donald Trump kept fact-checkers busy during his tenure. From claims about the economy to jobs, fact checks found many anomalies in Trump’s statements. It seems like President Joe Biden has also borrowed a leaf from Trump’s book and some of his statements were found to be contrary to facts. In his most recent claim, Biden has said that he was arrested in the past. Was Biden ever arrested and did he go to jail?

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Biden will complete his first year in the White House soon. While there have been some achievements, his popularity has fallen by 30 basis points in the first year. That’s the highest decline in popularity that any president has witnessed since World War II.

Joe Biden said that he was arrested in the past.

In his speech about voting rights on Jan. 11 in Georgia, Biden suggested that he was arrested in the past. "I did not walk in the shoes of generations of students who walked these grounds, but I walked other grounds,” said Biden. He emphasized that he wasn’t “kidding” and was serious about the claim. Biden added, “It seems like yesterday the first time I got arrested."

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This isn't the first time Biden has claimed that he was arrested. Previously, Biden claimed that he was arrested during the Civil Rights movement. Fact check websites have disputed some of his previous claims including that he was against the Afghanistan war. His comments that Al-Qaeda doesn't exist anymore in Afghanistan also proved to be incorrect.

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Biden claimed that he got arrested in South Africa.

During his 2020 campaign, Biden claimed in South Carolina that he was arrested in South Africa. “This day, 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid. I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto trying to get to see him on Robben Island,” said Biden. Later, he clarified that he wasn’t arrested but was stopped from moving to where he wanted to go.

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Was Biden really arrested?

While Biden went back on his claim about being arrested in South Africa, there aren't any credible fact check reports on whether or not he was arrested during the Civil Rights movement. In his book, Promises to Keep, he didn't mention the “arrests.”

Biden has made a lot of money through his books and paid speeches. He has an estimated net worth of $8 million. He’s nicknamed “middle-class Joe.” While Biden’s net worth is higher than the average middle-income family in the country, he's towards the middle when ranked on the net worth of all U.S. presidents.

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To be fair to Biden, he and his wife Jill have been paying a fair share of taxes. They paid around $7 million in taxes in the four years when Biden was out of office. Former President Donald Trump has been secretive about his finances. Trump’s net worth is set to increase as his TMTG (Trump Technology & Media Group) goes public.


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