Romney Says He’d ‘Have Immediately Pardoned’ Trump If He Were Biden

Bill Clark/Getty
Bill Clark/Getty

Mitt Romney, the only GOP senator to vote to convict Donald Trump in both his impeachment trials, told MSNBC on Wednesday that he “would have immediately pardoned” the 2024 hopeful if he were President Joe Biden.

Reflecting on his final year in office during an interview with MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle, which will air on Wednesday evening, the Utah senator lamented the increasing polarization of politics across the country and how his GOP colleagues should approach the upcoming election.

Regarding the dozens of criminal charges that Trump faces, both on the state level and federally, Romney criticized his fellow Republicans for rushing to Trump’s hush money trial in New York to defend the ex-president and attacking the legal system in the process. Yet, while saying it’s “demeaning” for wannabe vice-presidential candidates to wear Trump’s trademarked red tie ensemble outside the courthouse, he also told Ruhle that Biden “should have fought like crazy to keep this prosection” from proceeding.

Asked if there should be a separation of powers and branches of government, Romney claimed that if Lyndon B. Johnson were still president, “he’d have been all over that prosecutor” and threatened to drive him out of office if he went forward with the trial.

“But I’m pretty sure you support having separate but equal branches of government,” Ruhle retorted.

“I do, but I also— let me tell you, I mean—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 stated.

“Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned the little guy,” he continued. “ And, number two, it’s not going to get resolved before the election. It’s not going to have an impact before the election. And, frankly, the country doesn’t want to have to go through prosecuting a former president.”

While Trump does face federal charges in criminal cases surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection and his mishandling of classified documents, the trial in New York focuses on state criminal charges of falsifying business records. The president could not pardon Trump on the state-level charges in New York or his election interference case in Georgia.

Romney, meanwhile, insisted that voters already know that Trump acted inappropriately on numerous occasions and don’t need him to be convicted of a crime to prove that.

“I think the American people have recognized that President Trump did have an inappropriate affair with someone who was a porn star. I think they realize that,” the Utah lawmaker declared. “I think they realize he took classified documents he shouldn't have and didn't handle them properly. I think they understand that as well.”

He added: “I think they realize he’s been lying about the election in 2020. They know those things. So these things are not changing the public attitude. And, frankly, we ought to get beyond these and focus on the big issues that really matter to the American people, our inflation, our border, what’s happening around the world, America's involvement in the world.”

According to Romney, the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, Biden and Trump “would do best focusing on the future for this great country.”

As for who he will vote for come November, Romney—who previously wrote in his wife’s name the past two presidential elections rather than cast a ballot for Trump—said he wasn’t willing to announce that at this time. But he was willing to say who he wouldn’t support.

“I’m not going to be voting for President Trump. I made that clear,” he stated. “I know for some people, the character is not the number one issue. It is for me. When someone has been, well, determined by a jury to have committed sexual assault, that’s not someone who I want my kids and grandkids to see as president of the United States.”

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