- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Montana Gov. and Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock said Tuesday he would not pardon President Trump if Mr. Trump ends up facing criminal charges after he leaves office.

“No, I would not,” Mr. Bullock said on CNN. “I think to step back … Congress needs to be doing its full investigatory functions, and the executive branch actually has to be responding.”

“What we’re seeing is even when lawyers who are expected to follow the rule of law that are officers of the court aren’t showing up for hearings, we’ve got a big problem,” he said.

Mr. Bullock did say that on his recent trip to Iowa, people were talking more about “how’s government going to work for them” than investigations.

He had been asked about recent comments from Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who Mr. Trump pushed out shortly after the president was sworn into office in 2017.

“Are Dem candidates being asked whether they will consider pardoning Trump if he is charged after leaving office? They should say no. This is not Ford/Nixon. Sometimes an indictment can bring unity,” Mr. Bharara said on Twitter last week.

President Gerald R. Ford pardoned President Richard M. Nixon for any crimes Nixon might have committed during the Watergate scandal, saying that the country needed to move on.

But the pardon itself ended up being intensely polarizing, and some have pointed to it as a major reason Ford lost the 1976 election to President Jimmy Carter.

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