A New York prosecutor and frequent critic of President Donald Trump floated an elaborate theory on how the president might try to “avoid justice.”
Letitia James, the attorney general of the Empire State, told The View that she thinks Trump will step down before his term is over so that Vice President Mike Pence can pardon him, The Hill reported.
Prosecutor floats odd theory
“He can preemptively pardon individuals, and the vast majority of legal scholars have indicated that he cannot pardon himself,” James said. “What he could do is step down and allow the vice president — Vice President Pence — to pardon him.”
“I suspect at some point in time he will step down and allow the vice president to pardon him,” she added.
James also said she thinks Trump will issue pardons to his family members and associates. Trump spent much of the last four years fighting unfounded accusations that he was secretly a Russian agent, and many of his foes have long entertained fantasies of seeing him sent to prison for some non-specific crime.
With Trump’s putative loss in the election, his critics have speculated eagerly about his hypothetical incarceration, or some desperate effort by Trump to save himself from criminal liability. Some have openly called for Trump’s prosecution.
.@NewYorkStateAG @TishJames tells @TheView she suspects Pres. Trump “will step down and allow the vice president to pardon him” before the end of his term as she says the “vast majority of legal scholars have indicated that he cannot pardon himself.” https://t.co/f8u2wbJuik pic.twitter.com/xeJwNtA4eH
— The View (@TheView) December 8, 2020
“Cannot avoid justice”
James, a public critic of Trump who came into office vowing to investigate him and his family, is leading a civil probe of his business, just one investigation of Trump’s finances based out of New York, NBC News reported.
She said that Trump “cannot avoid justice” for whatever alleged wrongdoing is going to do him in. The prosecutor applauded New York governor Andrew Cuomo for signing a law with the apparently specific purpose of exposing Trump to prosecution at the state level.
“I’m so happy they passed that bill and it is now the law in the state of New York,” she said. “President Trump cannot avoid justice in the great state of New York.”
Despite this dramatic promise, the interview took an amusing turn when James had to clarify repeatedly that she is not investigating any crimes, as co-host Joy Behar demanded to know whether Trump was facing prosecution.
“Joy, again, our investigation is civil in nature, it is not criminal,” she said, laughing.