May 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Romney says Biden should have pardoned Trump on federal charges

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) walks to a vote in the Senate Chambers at the U.S. Capitol on February 07, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Mitt Romney at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said in an interview with MSNBC that President Biden should have pardoned former President Trump, because in part, "it's not going to get resolved before the election."

The big picture: Romney, a vocal Trump critic, has previously criticized the Manhattan district attorney's office for bringing the charges against Trump, saying last April the American voters "will ultimately render their own judgment on the former President's political future."

  • Trump faces 88 charges across his four criminal indictments. He is currently on trial in New York for allegations that he falsified business records to cover up an alleged sexual encounter before the 2016 election.

Driving the news: "You may disagree with this, but had I been President Biden, when the Justice Department brought out indictments, I would have immediately pardoned him. I'd have pardoned President Trump," Romney told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

  • "Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned the little guy," Romney said.
  • He also said that Trump's indictments are "not going to get resolved before the election" or "have an impact before the election."
  • "And, frankly, the country doesn't want to have to go through prosecuting a former president."
  • Representatives for Biden did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on the matter.

State of play: Romney criticized his Republican colleagues who have flocked to the Manhattan courthouse in recent days to support Trump as he faces trial for his New York case, per NBC News.

  • House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) have all attended court this week. Other Trump VP hopefuls, including North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, also attended.
  • "I think it's a terrible fault, for our country to see people attacking our legal system — that's an enormous mistake," Romney told NBC News.
  • "I think it's also demeaning for people to quite, apparently, try and run for vice president by donning the red tie and standing outside the courthouse and it's just — I'd have felt awkward."

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