Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said Thursday evening that if elected he would refuse to pardon President Donald Trump or halt any ongoing investigations of possibly criminal behavior by Trump or members of his administration, telling MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell:
“It is not something the president is entitled to do, to direct a prosecution or decide to drop a case. It’s a dereliction of duty.
“It’s hands off completely.”
Biden was also asked if he would “commit to the American ideal that no one is above the law.” The former vice president was unequivocal in his response, telling O’Donnell:
“Yes, I commit.”
When the name of Attorney General William Barr came up, Biden noted:
“The attorney general is not the president’s lawyer. It’s the people’s lawyer. We never saw anything like the prostitution of that office like we see it today.”
The former VP then referenced that O’Donnell once worked for the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY):
“You remember when you were there with Pat Moynihan, we never saw anything like the prostitution of that office like we see it today.
“It is not something the president is entitled to do — to direct either a prosecution and/or decide to drop a case. That is not the president’s role, responsibility, and it’s a dereliction of his duty.”
Barr’s latest attempt to please Trump was in the form of having the Justice Department drop all charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. However, the federal judge in Flynn’s case has made it clear he may not go along with the move and instead imprison him on charges of perjury and contempt.
Trump, meanwhile, has been trying to slag members of the Obama administration for daring to investigate members of his 2016 campaign for their contacts with Russian officials in the midst of the presidential race.
Here’s Joe Biden on “The Last Word”:
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