The entrepreneur whose candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president has shown surprising longevity (he was one of only seven candidates who qualified for the last debate) may have said something that might doom it.
Andrew Yang said he does not think Trump should be facing criminal charges and would consider pardoning Trump if he were in fact prosecuted.
“We do not want to be a country that gets in the pattern of jailing past leaders,” Yang said, adding that “there’s a reason why Ford pardoned Nixon.”
“I’d actually go a step further and say not just, hey, it’s up to my [Attorney General]. I would say that the country needs to start solving the problems on the ground and move forward.”
“Would you consider a pardon then?” NBC News asked.
“I would,” Yang said.
We actually should get in the pattern of jailing past leaders if they have committed crimes because that is the only way to prevent them from committing crimes in the first place. There was outrage at Ford for pardoning Nixon and strong suspicions that it doomed his re-election campaign. This idea that we should ‘move forward’ and not look back, the same excuse president Obama gave for not prosecuting the torture war crimes committed by the Bush administration and the CIA, is what enables presidents to willfully abuse their power, over and over again.
Yang saying that he would pardon Trump, someone who has abused his office and taken vilification of Democrats and indeed anyone who even mildly criticizes him to high levels, may well turn off many Democrats, similar to the adverse reaction to Tulsi Gabbard’s decision to merely vote ‘present’ on the impeachment articles. It will undoubtedly infuriate the many who think Trump is an absolute danger to democratic norms.