Biden should have pardoned Trump – US senator

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Mitt Romney has argued that preventing prosecution of the former US president would have been politically savvy

US Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has suggested that President Joe Biden blundered politically by allowing his administration to prosecute Donald Trump, his hated Republican rival.

“Had I been President Biden, when the Justice Department brought on indictments, I would have immediately pardoned him,” Romney said in an MSNBC interview aired on Wednesday. “I’d have pardoned President Trump. Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy.”

Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate who has clashed repeatedly with Trump, said Biden made an “enormous error” by allowing prosecutors to indict the ex-president last year for mishandling classified documents and trying to block the transfer of power after losing the 2020 election. The two federal cases are among four criminal indictments against Trump, who has accused Biden and his allies of using sham prosecutions to interfere in the 2024 presidential race.

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“He should have fought like crazy to keep this prosecution from going forward,” Romney said. “It was a win-win for Donald Trump. Pressed on the principle of leaving prosecutorial decisions to the Justice Department, the senator said Biden should have led like former President Lyndon B. Johnson.

“I’ve been around for a while. If LBJ had been president, and he didn’t want something like this to happen, he’d have been all over that prosecutor saying, ‘You better not bring that forward or I’m gonna drive you out of office.’”

Romney, who was defeated by Barack Obama in the 2012 election, has announced plans to retire from the Senate in January 2025, when his term ends. He has criticized both Trump and Biden for running for the presidency again this year, saying they should instead make way for a younger generation of leaders.

Upon announcing his decision last September to leave the Senate, Romney scolded his own party’s voters for favoring Trump. “There’s no question that the Republican Party today is in the shadow of Donald Trump,” he said. “He is the leader of the greatest portion of the Republican Party. It’s a populist, demagogue portion of the party. Look, I represent a small wing of the party. I call it the wise wing of the Republican Party.”

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Romney, 77, is the son of a former Michigan Governor George Romney and made upward of $200 million during his career in the private-equity business. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002. He has been a leading proponent of prolonging the Russia-Ukraine conflict, saying that using Kiev’s forces to weaken the Russian military “is about the best national defense spending I think we’ve ever done.”

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