Good to know.
Courtesy of NPR:
Joe Biden says that he believes prosecuting a former president would be a “very unusual thing and probably not very … good for democracy,” but he would not stand in the way of a future Justice Department pursuing criminal charges against President Trump after he leaves office.
The comments from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee came during a virtual interview Tuesday with members from the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
“Look, the Justice Department is not the president’s private law firm. The attorney general is not the president’s private lawyer. I will not interfere with the Justice Department’s judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law,” Biden told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro.
Trump has been connected with alleged illegal activity by his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen and investigators working for former special counsel Robert Mueller. What isn’t clear is whether federal authorities are investigating the president or whether prosecutors might take action against Trump if he no longer enjoyed the privileges that protect him from being indicted as a sitting president.
Biden made clear that any future prosecution against Trump would not be directed by him if he’s elected president.
“In terms of saying, ‘I think the president violated the law. I think the president did this, therefore, go on and prosecute him’ — I will not do that,” he said.
“If [a case] prove[s] to be a criminal offense, then in fact, that would be up to the attorney general to decide whether he or she wanted to proceed with it. I am not going to make that individual judgment,” Biden added.
I remember how upset I was that President Obama’s Justice Department did not pursue criminal charges against George W. Bush and his administration for lying us into war, and I really do not want to be disappointed again.
There were numerous officials who should have been arrested back in 2008, and there are even more who need to be prosecuted this time around.
However, I also understand that it tends to diminish the presidency for the Commander-in-Chief to be involved in the actual launching of the investigation, so I am fine with Biden simply staying on the sidelines and allowing things to move forward.
I will not be fine with things not moving forward.