Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cast doubt on ex-President Donald Trump’s comments over whether he is likely to pardon himself.
Such a scenario is dependent on two factors; the Republican frontrunner must win next year’s presidential election, and he must be convicted in one of his many legal battles. Former president Trump is facing a total of 91 criminal charges as part of four separate indictments, with the trials to begin next year.
Republican candidate and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has vowed to pardon Trump if elected – an unlikely scenario given his relatively low polling figures despite his underdog campaign. Fellow candidates have mostly steered clear of the issue as they try to distance themselves from the controversial former president who leads the field by more than 30 percentage points.
Alas, much of the focus has been on whether an imprisoned President Trump would pardon himself – a real possibility given his insistence that he is the target of a politically motivated criminal investigation.
Context Behind Trump’s “Very Unlikely” Claim
Context, as ever, is important.
“I think it’s very unlikely. What, what did I do wrong? I didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump said on the program. “You mean because I challenge an election, they want to put me in jail?”
His comments were in relation to his belief that he is innocent, not what he would do if a jury found otherwise.
Later, Trump said he “could have” pardoned himself at the end of his last presidency, but chose not to. However, he refused to rule out a self-pardon when host Kristen Welker asked whether he would grant himself one “even if you were re-elected in this moment.”
Clinton’s Unsurprising Response
Nevertheless, Clinton’s comments should come as no surprise given that Trump once suggested that she’d “be in jail” if he was in charge of the country’s law enforcement. “I don’t believe him on anything. Why would I start believing him on that?” Clinton said in an interview on Sunday with MSNBC.
“He engages in what psychologists call projection. So, whenever he accuses somebody else of doing something, it’s almost guaranteed he’s doing it himself or he’s already done it. Or whenever he denies thinking about doing something or doing it, it’s almost guaranteed he is thinking about it, or he’s already done it,” Clinton added.
It wasn’t just the 77-year-old himself who was the target of the candidate he defeated in 2016. Clinton also took aim at House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has been under pressure from MAGA Republicans in the House to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Joe Biden.
“Sadly, the speaker of the House is too weak to stand up against the most rabid block of his members who don’t care what the truth or the facts are,” Clinton said. “They just want to be able to grandstand and try to cause President Biden problems,” she added, before dismissing the inquiry as “not a real threat” and describing it as a “terrible bother” given the looming deadline before a government shutdown.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.