Okay, I really don’t get this piece in NBC News. Also, when Democrats start saying, "Hey, maybe Biden should pardon Trump," we should all get nervous. What’s the angle here? Seriously, it makes zero sense and Joe Biden has even said he’s not going to issue a pardon for Donald Trump should he win the election, so this is more of a thought exercise from Michael Conway, who was a counsel for the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment inquiry into Richard Nixon in 1974. He’s also the man who wrote, "What Will It Take for Democrats to Unite Behind Impeaching Trump?" in The New York Times in 2019.
Conway offers his reasons and highlights one area I forgot to mention about a pardon. It doesn’t cover state crimes, so the politically motivated legal war against Donald Trump could continue in New York. Yet, the main reason why Biden should issue a pardon is that a) it could get Trump to at least admit he committed crimes as president, and b) like Ford, provide an avenue for all of us to move on and heal (via NBC News):
First and foremost, Trump’s acceptance of a pardon — under the 1915 Supreme Court opinion in Burdick v United States — is an admission that he was guilty of the crimes for which he has been pardoned. Pardoning him may be the only way that Trump even implicitly concedes he did anything wrong.
And a federal pardon wouldn’t eliminate all of Trump’s potential criminal exposure. The Supreme Court last year declined to overrule long-standing precedent which allows parallel state and federal prosecutions based upon the same facts.
So, a presidential pardon would not bar Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from investigating and potentially prosecuting Trump and his company for crimes under state law. And his investigation already led to a Supreme Court ruling this summer rejecting Trump’s claim of immunity from criminal investigation while president.
Accepting a federal pardon — especially a pardon for crimes violating both federal and state laws — would be a double-edged sword for the president. And whatever the result of any state investigation or prosecution, it could not be laid at Biden’s doorstep. It would not be his appointees investigating the former president, his recent political adversary; it would not be his employees prosecuting him. In fact, a pardon from Biden would mean that they could not.
Democrats already know what the mirror image of that looks like. When Trump called for the jailing of his political opponents, he was justly condemned as promoting a vendetta characteristic of a banana republic.
A Biden pardon of Trump, like the pardoning of former President Richard Nixon 46 years ago, would be intended to heal the nation and foreclose the possibility of an ongoing cycle of retribution after political parties change control of the government.
We’ve done this before.
Yeah, he also noted that Gerald Ford lost his 1976 re-election because of the backlash from the pardon. Yes, it’s been shown to be the move that helped the nation move on from Nixon and Watergate, but it killed his presidency. Are Democrats willing to do that with Biden? Maybe. No Democrat is enthused by him, and most Democrats only voted for him because he wasn’t Donald Trump. Hey, the "anti" candidacy prevailed this time, whereas characters in the past who have tried to use that mold to win a race, John Kerry (anti-Bush) and Mitt Romney (anti-Obama), had failed. For now, Biden appears on top, but we still have ballots to count and legal challenges to settle.
Frankly, if Biden changes course, this will render his administration politically dead. No Democrat wants this; it will be fodder for the liberal media to talk about, but the progressive base would be in an uproar. As for Trump, well, again, I do see upsides of him pardoning himself because no matter what, a Biden DOJ is going to be gunning for him. The state crimes aspect is also troubling, and Trump didn’t do anything wrong, but that didn’t stop the remnants of the Obama DOJ from destroying the lives of Michael Flynn and Carter Page. Flynn is still in legal purgatory. Even if we hold the Senate and Biden nominates a moderate-ish candidate for attorney general, okay, not moderate, but someone who isn’t loud, controversial, and most of all boring, you think that’s going to stop the legal crusade against Trump? Democrats don’t play by the rules. They lie, cheat, and steal. And they will certainly find some way to indict Trump if he doesn’t take the necessary actions should all else fail concerning the legal front of this election cycle. What that is…I’m not so sure now.
It sucks, either way, you think about it.