Gov. Burgum: Biden 'should pardon Trump'

June 19, 2023
Robert Ayers

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) says that President Joe Biden "should pardon" former President Donald Trump.

Burgum, who has joined the field of Republican candidates vying for the U.S. presidency, made the remark during an interview that he did over the weekend with Breitbart News Saturday. 

This comes after Biden's Department of Justice (DOJ), through special counsel Jack Smith, indicted Trump on 37 crimes in relation to the former president's alleged mishandling of classified documents after he left the White House. Trump has already pled not guilty to the charges at his arraignment.

While the case continues to unfold, there has been much talk about the presidential pardon power and about whether the current president or a future president ought to use it to pardon Trump.

Burgum weighs in

During his Breitbart interview, Burgum made it clear that, in his opinion, Biden ought to pardon Trump.

"People are asking me about pardons. You know, Biden should pardon Trump and say, ‘Hey, not good for our country. This is what our adversaries wanted," Burgum said.

Burgum, here and in other interviews, has taken the position that the indictment of Trump is a distraction for America and that this is why Biden ought to pardon Trump - so that America can get rid of this distraction and get back to focusing on much more important matters.

There has been no indication from the Biden administration as to whether Biden might pardon Trump. In fact, Biden and his administration have chosen to remain silent on the Trump indictment - likely because of the fact that many Americans, according to polls, see the indictment of Trump as a persecution by Biden of his chief political rival.

A pardon of Trump by Biden would not only eliminate this perception that the indictment of Trump is politically motivated but it would also be a step in the direction of unifying the nation - something that Biden promised to do in his inauguration speech. Still, it probably is not going to happen.

What about Trump's Republican rivals?

Some of Trump's Republican rivals have pledged to pardon him if elected in 2024, some have said that they will not pardon him, and others have refused to take a side.

Chief among those who have said that they would pardon Trump is biotech executive Vivek Ramaswamy. He said, "This is my commitment, on Jan. 20, 2025, if I'm elected the next U.S. president — to pardon Donald J. Trump for these offenses in this federal case."

Chief among those who have said that they would not pardon Trump is former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R). He has said that such a pardon would be a "misuse of the pardon power."

And, the two big Republican names who have not really taken a side on the pardon issue are former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

Both appear to be waiting to see how the DOJ's case against Trump is going to unfold.

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