Romney, Who Voted to Convict Trump, Says Biden Should Have Pardoned Him

Lame duck Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) is one of Donald Trump’s harshest critics among the congressional GOP — until it comes to the former president’s criminal indictments.

Romney sat down with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle for an interview to air Wednesday night where he revealed if he was in charge, he would have pardoned Trump.

“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 said. “Why? Well, because it makes me, President Biden, the big guy and the person I pardoned a little guy.”

Romney himself voted in favor of convicting Trump when he was impeached in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 insurrection, justifying his response in a statement reading: “President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol.”

Now that Trump faces federal charges relating to that same conduct, however, he is singing a different tune.

The president only has the power to pardon federal charges, such as those Trump faces in Washington, D.C., and Florida. He would not have been able to pardon Trump for election interference in Georgia or the hush money related-charges he is currently on trial for in Manhattan, though Romney criticized Biden for not exerting pressure on prosecutor Alvin L. Bragg to drop the charges.

“He should have fought like crazy to keep this prosecution from going forward,” Romney told Ruhle. “It was a win-win for Donald Trump.”

Romney compared Biden’s inaction to President Lyndon B. Johnson, arguing “if LBJ had been president, and he didn’t want something like this to happen, he’d have been all over that prosecutor.”

Johnson’s successor, Richard Nixon, was famously pardoned by his own successor, Gerald Ford, in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.

In the MSNBC interview, Romney tried to distinguish himself from the parade of Republicans visiting the Trump trial to speak out in support of Trump — a group that has included Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R–Louisiana).

“I think it’s also demeaning for people to quite apparently try and run for vice president by donning a red tie and standing outside the courthouse,” Romney said.

Despite arguing he is not like other Republicans, Romney’s comments about how Biden should have pardoned Trump — over issues he personally voted to convict the former president — certainly goes to show the limits of Trump critique within the GOP.

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