Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara put out this question Saturday night:
Are Dem candidates being asked whether they will consider pardoning Trump if he is charged after leaving office? They should say no. This is not Ford/Nixon. Sometimes an indictment can bring unity.
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 19, 2019
He suggested that Democratic presidential candidate should say that they wouldn’t pardon President Donald Trump if he’s impeached after leaving office.
“This is not Ford/Nixon,” said Bharara. “Sometimes an indictment can bring unity.”
POTUS has faced allegations of obstruction of justice, and of committing campaign finance violations. The Department of Justice has balked at the idea that a sitting president could be indicted because doing so would interfere with the execution of executive branch responsibility. Statutes of limitations might prevent there from being an indictment after Trump leaves, assuming he loses reelection in 2020 and prosecutors believe there’s evidence to convict.
The whole conversation became a bit more charged Saturday, with Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan, 3rd District) saying that yes, the Mueller Report showed Trump committing impeachable actions. Trump has long called claims a politically motivated “witch hunt” by Democrats. He turned that ire onto the congressman, calling him a “total lightweight.” Other Republicans have turned on Amash.
Funny enough, high-ranking Dems like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they don’t want to impeach, though they argue that the president had done impeachable things. They control the House, and could impeach the president assuming a party-line vote. Nonetheless, they are minority of the Senate. A super-majority of votes are required for removal. That means the Senate GOP–not just a lone congressman in the House–would have to turn on the president. There’s no sign of that happening.
“I also believe that an impeachment call is not only something that relates to the law but also considers practicality and politics, and I think the American people just aren’t there,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said on a Sunday episode of State of the Union. “I think those that are considering impeachment have to look also at the jury, which would be the Senate. The Senate is certainly not there either.”
[Image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images]