Trump will pardon himself if reelected. Biden should be the 'big guy' and do it now.

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Republican Sen. Mitt Romney got it right – and wrong – when he said last week that President Joe Biden should have pardoned Donald Trump of the federal charges he faces.

He got the “should have” part right, but he failed to suggest the follow-up:

Still can.

And then follow that with:


A year ago in April, I said that if Trump was indicted for federal crimes, Biden should pardon him.

Yes, Biden should pardon Trump. It's the right thing to do.

Trump won't pay for his crimes. We will.

(A president can’t pardon anyone for state crimes, like those Trump has been charged with in New York and Georgia.)

Among the many responses I received, one of the few that could be printed in a family publication came from Terry W., who wrote:

“President Joe Biden should pardon Donald Trump??? NO. FRIGGEN. WAY. Sure didn’t expect something like this out of you, Montini. Donald HAS TO PAY FOR HIS CRIMES.”

Will Trump get away with something? The legal crawl is letting down 'unreal' Americans.

In theory, yes. But we do not live in a theoretical world. And you know, and I know, that in today’s world, Trump will not pay for his crimes.

Just the opposite.

We will pay for his crimes.

Gerald Ford got it right with Richard Nixon

Back in 1974, then-President Gerald Ford was faced with a similar situation.

After former President Richard Nixon resigned because of his involvement in the Watergate scandal, for which he would have faced criminal prosecution, Ford announced that he had decided to "grant a full, free, and absolute pardon” to Nixon.

Ford later appeared before a congressional committee and told the lawmakers, “I was absolutely convinced then as I am now that if we had had (an) indictment, a trial, a conviction, and anything else that transpired after this that the attention of the president, the Congress and the American people would have been diverted from the problems that we have to solve.”

Sort of like the situation we have now.

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Biden wins if he announces the pardon here

Romney said Biden should have pardoned Trump, then pressured state prosecutors to drop their cases.

He said, “You may disagree with this, but had I been President Biden, when the Justice Department brought on indictments, I would have immediately pardoned him. I’d have pardoned President Trump. Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy.”

That’s true. Besides, we all know that should Trump be elected president, he will pardon himself.

Granting Trump a pardon not only would show the country that Biden is the better person, the “big guy” to Trump’s “little guy” as Romney put it, but it also could keep Trump out of the Oval Office.

Particularly if Biden were to announce the pardon – which I’d REALLY like to see him do – at the first presidential debate.

EJ Montini is a columnist at The Arizona Republic, where this column first appeared. Reach Montini at

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Romney says Biden should've pardoned Trump. He's right