HomePoliticsBiden should have pardoned Trump on federal charges, says Mitt Romney

Biden should have pardoned Trump on federal charges, says Mitt Romney

Joe Biden should have forgiven Donald Trump on all federal criminal charges as of the time they were announced, Utah senator and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said.

“If I had been President Biden,” Romney said, “when the Justice Department brought out the indictment, I would have pardoned him immediately. I would have pardoned President Trump.”

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“Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned, the little guy. And number two, it won’t be resolved before the election. It won’t have an impact before the elections. And frankly, the country doesn’t want to prosecute a former president.”

Romney spoke to MSNBC in an interview airing Wednesday night on The 11th Hour with Stephanie Ruhle.

Trump is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee despite 88 criminal charges. Forty-four are federal: four concern election subversion and forty concern the retention of classified information. Neither case has gone to trial.

The president was unable to pardon Trump on his other 44 charges, at the state level. Thirty-four stem from hush money payments to an adult film star around the 2016 election, an election subversion case now on trial in New York, and ten involve election subversion in Georgia.

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Trump has also been hit with multibillion-dollar fines in civil lawsuits related to his business practices and a defamation claim stemming from a rape allegation that a judge called “substantially true.”

When Trump was president, Romney was the only Republican to vote for conviction in both the Senate impeachment trials and for soliciting political dirt on opponents in Ukraine and inciting the deadly Jan. 6 attack on Congress.

Romney told MSNBC: “I think the American people have recognized that President Trump had an inappropriate affair with someone who was a porn star. I think they realize that.

“I think they realize that he took classified documents that he shouldn’t have, and that he didn’t handle them properly. I think they understand that too.

“I think they realize he lied about the election [and supposed voter fraud] in 2020. They know those things. [But] These things don’t change the public’s attitude.”

Opinion polls have put Trump ahead in battleground states.

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In America’s pre-Trump past, Romney lost the 2012 election to Barack Obama. In 2016, as Trump stormed into the White House, Romney wrote in his wife Ann’s name instead of endorsing Hillary Clinton. Romney then flirted with accepting a post in Trump’s Cabinet as secretary of state, but found humiliation instead.

According to author Gabriel Debenedetti, Romney urged Biden to run against Trump in 2020. Romney has said he did not vote for Trump that year, and reportedly wrote in Ann again.

Romney told MSNBC that he liked Biden, whom he considered “capable” despite widespread claims that Biden is too old for his job at 81, claims that are less common about Trump, who is 77.

But when asked who he would vote for, Romney did not say Biden.

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“I’m not announcing that here and now,” he said. “I’m not going to vote for President Trump. I made that clear. I know for some people character isn’t the main issue. It is for me. “If someone has been found by a jury to have committed sexual assault, that is not someone I want my children and grandchildren to see as president of the United States.”

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Romney criticized Biden on the economy and border security — even as he acknowledged Trump’s role in blocking a bipartisan border measure passed by Congress — telling MSNBC: “I don’t know if that’s [Trump’s] ambition to bring people together. I don’t know exactly what he hopes to do if he gets a second term.”

Asked about the continued surprisingly strong performance in the Republican primaries by Nikki Haley, who dropped out more than two months ago, Romney rejected the idea that a moderate wing of his party could still try to take back control.

“My wing from the party, it looks like a chicken wing, okay?” said the senator. “It’s a little thing that doesn’t get the bird off the ground.”

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