Comey: Biden should consider pardoning Trump
Former FBI Director James Comey suggested President-elect Biden should consider pardoning President Trump if he faces criminal prosecution after leaving office.
“I don’t know, he should at least consider it,” Comey said during an interview with BBC Newsnight. “Donald Trump, he’s not a genius, but he might figure out that if he accepts a pardon, that’s an admission of guilt, the United States Supreme Court has said, so I don’t know that he would accept a pardon.”
Comey said that a potential pardon from Biden would help “as part of healing the country and getting us to a place where we can focus on things that are going to matter over the next four years.”
“I think Joe Biden is going to have to at least consider it,” he added.
“Donald Trump belongs in jail.”
Ex-FBI Director @Comey says while he “obviously believes” the president should be in jail, he doesn’t think “pursuing that is in the best interests of the American people”, adding Joe Biden should “consider” pardoning Donald Trump#Newsnight pic.twitter.com/RUghKyq5nW
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) January 13, 2021
Legal experts have said it could be difficult to charge Trump with a crime related to last week’s deadly rioting at the Capitol by his supporters that led to the president’s second impeachment on Wednesday. But the president and his company could face scrutiny for possible financial crimes in the Southern District of New York, they have noted.
Earlier this week, Comey, whom Trump fired, said it would be the “greatest punishment he could imagine” for politicians and the media to ignore Trump after he leaves office.
Trump does “belong in jail,” Comey told the BBC, but he believes that prosecuting a former president is not “in the best interest of the entire nation.”
“I think the wiser decision would be not to pursue him,” he added. “But whatever you do, the next president, Joe Biden, should explain it to the American people. Be transparent about why you’re doing what you’re doing.”
Trump has repeatedly attacked Comey and other former intelligence and former law enforcement officials during his four years in office, alleging they were part of a so-called deep state that sought to undermine his 2016 presidential campaign and eventually sparked Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.
Comey has in recent weeks criticized Trump for peddling unproven theories about electoral fraud and lying about the 2020 election being “stolen” from him.
“You can’t shout at people to convince them that they’ve been defrauded. One of the hardest things in the world is for a victim of a fraud, of lies, to admit they were fooled,” Comey said this week during an interview with NBC’s “Today.” “I worked criminal cases where the victims of a fraud would come to support the fraudster after he pled guilty. It is not about shouting at them. It is about coaxing them and urging them and letting them out of that fog of lies.”