Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said that he would not pardon Trump or any other ex-president if they were indicted.
Pete Buttigieg says no pardon for Trump
MARGARET BRENNAN: So there are a number of investigations going on in- different state levels. If you do get to that position of the presidency and you look at a ButtigiegJustice Department potentially prosecuting the president- former president, would you ever consider a pardon?
BUTTIGIEG: I don’t think that it’s appropriate for pardon power to be used to cover for malfeasance or corruption in office. You know, right now–
MARGARET BRENNAN: So Ford’s pardoning of Nixon–
BUTTIGIEG: You know, I don’t–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –inappropriate?
BUTTIGIEG: –know what I would have done in the 70s and- and- and that historical counterfactual other than that I’m bothered by the possibility that public corruption went unpunished and the idea that that could happen in the future is equally problematic. That’s, I think, not at all what the pardon power was- was for when it was first contemplated. And again, I think the less presidential slash political interference there is with any process in the Department of Justice, the better.
Asked by @margbrennan if he would ever consider a pardon of a former president. @PeteButtigieg says, “I don't think that it's appropriate for pardon power to be used to cover for malfeasance or corruption in office.” pic.twitter.com/cDrQ1HALON
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 16, 2019
Trump isn’t going to get a Nixon pardon
The best chance for Trump to avoid a federal indictment by getting a pardon would be to resign. Democrats aren’t going to pardon Trump if he loses the election for the exact reason that Buttigieg stated. Public corruption can’t go unpunished. It has been argued with hindsight that Ford’s presidency was finished as soon as he pardoned Nixon. Corruption can’t be swept under the rug so that the nation can “move on.” If Democrats take back the White House, Trump is going to be indicted at the federal or state level. Presidential pardons don’t apply to state charges, but Trump must be punished so that a presidency like his never happens again.
Trump best chance of avoiding a potential prison sentence is winning reelection because a pardon isn’t going to happen.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.