Former FBI Director James Comey Wednesday said he thinks President-elect Joe Biden should consider pardoning President Trump for allegedly inciting the Capitol riot after he takes office.
BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis asked Comey if he thought Biden should pardon Trump in the same fashion that President Gerald Ford did his predecessor, Richard Nixon, after he resigned over the Watergate scandal in 1974.
“I don’t know, he should at least consider it,” Comey told Maitlis. “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 think about that.”
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Comey, whose firing in the first year of Trump’s presidency lead to the Mueller investigation, said he wasn’t sure Trump — who he called in the interview a “lawless nihilist” — would accept a pardon because the U.S. Supreme Court has said it’s an admission of guilt.
The former FBI leader said he believes Trump “belongs in jail” but he doesn’t think pursuing his guilt is in the best interest of the country.
“I think the wiser decision would be not to pursue him,” but he said whatever decision Biden makes, he should be “transparent” with the American people.
Any pardon would only shield the president from potential federal charges, not state investigations.
The BBC interview was one of several media stops to promote his new book “Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency and Trust.”
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On Wednesday, the House voted 232-197 to impeach the president for “incitement of insurrection” after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the certification of Biden’s electoral college win.