Former FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said he believes President-elect Joe Biden should consider forgiving President Trump for allegedly inciting the Capitol uprising after he takes office.
BBC Newsnight Emily Maitlis asked Comey if he thought Biden should forgive Trump in the same way that then-president Gerald Ford did his predecessor, Richard Nixon, after he resigned due to the 1974 Watergate scandal.
“I do not 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 will at least have to think above the.”
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Comey, whose firing in the first year of the Trump presidency led to the Mueller investigation, said he was not sure Trump – whom he called an “outlaw nihilist” in the interview – would accept a pardon because the U.S. Supreme Court has said it is a confession of guilt.
The former FBI chief said he believes Trump “belongs in jail,” but he does not believe it is in the best interests of the country to pursue his guilt.
“I think the wiser decision would not be to pursue him,” but he said no matter what decision Biden makes, he should be “transparent” with the American people.
Any pardon will only protect the president from potential federal charges and 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, Parliament voted 232-197 to accuse the president of “inciting rebellion” after a crowd of his supporters stormed the Capitol on January 6 in a failed attempt to stop the certification of Biden’s election colleague gain.