Joe Biden Says He Wouldn’t Pardon Trump If He Becomes President

Joe Biden wouldn’t pardon Donald Trump for any crimes relating to his presidency. The presumptive Democratic nominee has dismissed the idea out of hand.

The former Vice President spoke to NBC News on Thursday. Asked about pardoning Trump in the same way former President Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, Biden was firm a “no”.

Biden committed to letting the law take its course.

“Absolutely, yes, I commit,” he said.

“It’s hands-off completely. Look, the attorney general of the United States is not the president’s lawyer, it’s the people’s lawyer.”

“It’s not something the president is entitled to do, to direct either a prosecution or decide to drop a case,” he said.

“That is not the president’s role or responsibility and it’s a dereliction of his duty.”

He also took aim at the current Justice Department. Attorney General William Barr has faced much criticism for his decision to drop the case against Michael Flynn.

Biden said refusing to pardon Trump would show how different his DOJ would be. He pointed out that the current state of Justice was unprecedented in his experience.

“We never saw anything like the prostitution of that office like we see it today,” Biden said.

Though he didn’t cite any specific crimes that President Trump might be guilty of, there’s been serious speculation that failing to win reelection will open the President to possible charges.

Ford pardoned Nixon in 1974 in an effort to heal the country. However, both men were Republicans and Ford was Nixon’s vice president. Pardoning a president from another party is without precedent.

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Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: “The President Is Behaving Like a King” by Withholding His Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today about Donald Trump’s tax returns. It’s not clear how the justices will vote, but Democrat Hakeem Jeffries has made his position clear.

The New York Congressman tweeted as the justices began grilling lawyers for Congress and the President on Tuesday.

“Every single President since Richard Nixon has made their tax returns public,” Jeffries said.

“The House lawfully requested that Trump do the same.”

Every single President since Richard Nixon has made their tax returns public.

The House lawfully requested that Trump do the same. He refused.

The President is acting like a King.

But this is a democracy.

No one is above the law. #TrumpTaxes read more

Trump, Who Regularly Fires People, Claims He “Learned A Lot” About Not Firing People from Richard Nixon

President Donald Trump reflected on his approach to the Russia investigation during a phone interview with the hosts of “Fox and Friends,” saying he “learned a lot” from studying history and the administration of former President Richard Nixon.

“I learned a lot from Richard Nixon. Don’t fire people,” he said. “I learned a lot. I study history. And the firing of everybody — I should’ve in one way, but I’m glad I didn’t, because look at the way it turned out. They’re all a bunch of crooks and they got caught.”

“Of course there was one difference, one big difference,” Trump continued. “Number one, he may have been guilty. And number two, he had tapes all over the place. I wasn’t guilty. I did nothing wrong, and there are no tapes. But I wish there were tapes in my case.”

The problem with Trump’s reflection: He has fired many people during his tenure in the White House, including:

  • James Comey, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  • Andrew McCabe, the former Deputy FBI Director, who was fired after Trump pressured Jeff Sessions
  • Jeff Sessions, his former Attorney General
  • Sally Yates, the acting Attorney General (one of the earliest firings of the Trump administration)
  • John Bolton, his former national security adviser
  • H.R. McMaster, his former national security adviser
  • Mira Ricardel, the former deputy national security adviser
  • John Kelly, his former chief of staff
  • Reince Priebus, his former chief of staff
  • Rex Tillerson, his former Secretary of State
  • Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist
  • read more

    Beyond Disowning Trump, GOP Apostates Must Be Accountable for History of Exploiting Political Offices at People’s Expense

    Joe Scarborough, former Republican but still self-proclaimed conservative host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, has hoisted himself into media and political limelights of late with his popularizing of the moniker “Moscow Mitch” for senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, who has refused to bring to the senate floor for a vote a bill to fund measures to protect U.S. elections from Russian interference.

    Certainly, Scarborough has positioned himself as an anti-Trump crusader, critical of both Trump and a sycophantically compliant GOP. He, in fact, publicly announced his departure from the Republican Party on Stephen Colbert’s show in October 2017.

    Scarborough stands with other disaffected Republicans, such as former Florida representative David Jolly, who formally left the party, and talk show host and former member of George W. Bush’s administration Nicolle Wallace.

    Wallace claims she didn’t leave the party; the party left her by changing its core platforms, saying “This Republican Party is unrecognizable to me . . . I’m not embarrassed to share a political party with John McCain or the 41st president or 43rd president.”  Her show is also known to parade other disaffected Republicans such as David Frum, Steve Schmitt, and Charlie Sykes.

    There is always something unsettling about these figures’ somewhat holier-than-thou turning on the GOP, disavowing its current politics and form as though they represent a sharp break, an incongruous discontinuity with the respectable and dignified GOP with which they reverently identified.  This stance of moral indignation at Trump’s cruelty, hate, and flagrant celebrations of racism and sexism, just doesn’t sit right.

    It’s not just insufficient; it’s dangerously deceptive, erasing the Republican Party’s complicity in producing Trump and in promoting the divisive, repressive, self-serving, and hostile politics characteristic of the current White House.

    This week’s bombshell reporting on the newly-released tape of Ronald Reagan’s conversation with Richard Nixon, in which Reagan referred to African diplomats as “monkeys,” begins to make this point clear. Reagan doesn’t sound all that different from Trump, when he tells Nixon, ““Last night, I tell you, to watch that thing on television, as I did, to see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them — they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”  And Nixon laughs.

    The only difference between Trump and Reagan here is that Reagan thinks nobody will hear the conversation, so his hateful racist attitudes can inform Republican policies in coded and unrecognized ways.

    This m.o. is, of course, the playbook of the infamous Southern Strategy, which has been insufficiently addressed and recalled by media pundits. Michael Tomasky is one of the few, penning a piece about how the Southern Strategy has returned “with a vengeance.” And Maya Wiley, in a recent segment on Hardball, invoked it to point out that Trump, even in violating the code of the Southern Strategy, represents a continuity with past Republican politics:

    “So all we`re really seeing here is a continuation.  Donald Trump blew up the southern strategy when he ran for president.  Remember, the southern strategy, which Richard Nixon perfected, which was sort of wink, wink, nod, nod, we`ll use coded language, but we`ll be very polite because we don`t think racism is okay to say aloud.  So we`ll wink and we`ll nod.  He threw the wink and the nod out already in 2016.”

    But we aren’t getting enough analysis of and emphasis on this linkage between past and present when it comes to demanding accountability from these now self-satisfied, even self-righteous, disaffected Republicans lamenting the loss of their dear GOP.

    Let’s remember exactly how Republican operative Lee Atwater described the Southern Strategy he crafted to get Nixon elected in 1968 and, really, move to consolidate Republican dominance in the South moving forward to the present, aiding and abetting the likes of Scarborough.

    Here’s how Atwater characterized the strategy in a 1981 interview, laying bare its racist underpinnings:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “[N-word], [n-word], [n-word].” By 1968 you can’t say “[n-word]”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-word], [n-word].”  (parenthetical substitutions of “n-word” are mine.)

    So what did Republicans like Scarborough support? What did the George W. Bush administration, for whom Wallace served as a Communications Director, support?  They supported vigorously positions that defended states’ rights and tax cuts—the codes for defending racist policies. States’ rights, of course, are about allowing states to skirt federal enforcement particularly around civil rights issues, enabling local governments to be as racist as they like. And Atwater neatly explained the racist dimensions of tax cuts.  Scarborough was a member of the New Federalists that advocated for states’ rights, and he had been recognized by the conservative organization Americans for Tax Reform for his support for cutting taxes.

    And anyone who has seen Adam McKay’s Vice, a biting satirical “documentary” of Dick Cheney’s rise to power, or Rachel Maddow’s more serious Why We Did it, documenting the complicity of the Bush administration and oil corporations in deceiving the American people to sell the invasion of Iraq, can certainly see good reason to believe that the administration in which Nicolle Wallace participated is not different from Trump’s in the way it abused the Presidency for personal enrichment or to serve the enrichment of a good old boys corporate network at the expense of the American people.

    Without accountability for this past and how it has created our present, we can’t move forward in a new direction by fully recognizing the mistakes off the past.

    We can’t be fooled that restoring a GOP establishment is any less racist or harmful to the people than Trump.

    We might ask Wallace, given the Southern Strategy and the corporate-sponsored Iraq war, if Trump’s GOP is really so unrecognizable.

    Nixon Foundation Disowns Roger Stone After Arrest

    Roger Stone still idolizes disgraced former President Richard Nixon and even has Nixon’s head tattooed on his back. But last night, after Stone was indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller and arrested by the FBI, the Nixon Foundation issued a statement saying they wanted nothing to do with Donald Trump’s oldest friend and adviser.

    When Stone left the Florida federal courthouse after his arraignment yesterday he took a second to pose for the camera, and flashed Nixon’s signature double V hand signal.

    The signal is used to symbolize “victory” or “peace,” but Nixon appropriated it for his own use in 1974 after resigning from office. While leaving the White House for the last time, Nixon also flashed the same hand signal that Stone gave yesterday.

    Not only is Stone a huge Nixon fan, but he also has embellished his resume by saying that he was an “aide” during the Nixon administration.

    So the statement from the Nixon Foundation tried to set the record straight, saying:

    “This morning’s widely-circulated characterization of Roger Stone as a Nixon campaign aide or adviser is a gross misstatement. Mr. Stone was 16 years old during the Nixon presidential campaign of 1968 and 20 years old during the reelection campaign of 1972.”

    “Mr. Stone, during his time as a student at George Washington University, was a junior scheduler on the Nixon reelection committee. Mr. Stone was not a campaign aide or adviser. Nowhere in the Presidential Daily Diaries from 1972 to 1974 does the name ‘Roger Stone’ appear.”

    This morning’s widely-circulated characterization of Roger Stone as a Nixon campaign aide or adviser is a gross misstatement. Mr. Stone was 16 years old during the Nixon presidential campaign of 1968 and 20 years old during the reelection campaign of 1972. 1/2 read more

    President Obama Single-Handedly Protects Americans’ Health and Combats Climate Change

    Now, every Republican and related conservative is under the illusion that providing for the general welfare means providing for the fossil fuel industry, corporations, the wealthy, Christian clergy, and financial sector's general welfare, but that is not what the Founding Fathers or the first four American presidents believed; neither does President Barack Obama.