If Biden wins, should he aggressively prosecute the previous administration...including Trump?

It has been a hallmark of presidents in the US to never, ever, go after the previous administration legally for whatever infractions may have occurred.

It is a gentlemen’s agreement but one that serves them all well. Every administration, to some degree, has skeletons in their closet and none want to take the job knowing a future administration that does not like them will trot all of that mess out.

I cannot think of a single instance when a new president and his administration went after the people in the previous administration (this is where the SDMB will school me probably).

But Trump has gone to an all time low. For the sake of this argument assume Biden wins in November. Will Biden tell his AG to prioritize the Trump admin for wrong doing or will Biden make some speech about how this will not serve the country well and we just need to move on?

My money is Biden leaves the Trump admin alone and goes with the “we need to move on and heal” spiel. Maybe throw some minor functionary under the bus to make it look like he did something.

Biden won’t. The states probably will. Personally, I want to see every skeleton since the late 70s that are haunting Trump’s wardrobe.

Biden has already said publicly that he would let any prosecution proceed against anyone who engaged in wrongdoing in the Trump cabal, including Trump. Not sure if I can find a cite, but I heard him say it during an interview.

I tend to view Biden as a pussy and a pushover, but I think he hates Trump on a visceral level, partly due to how Trump treats women.

So I could see Biden behind the scenes pushing for federal investigations into Trump and his family. But I think the real prosecutions, if there are any, will come from NY state.

The question is whether he should. Of course he should.

The problem is we’ll be hearing Tweety and his supporters playing the martyr for the rest of our lives.

You mean where Trump/Barr just fired the AG there?

It will have to be at the state level. Trump will make it rain pardons before he leaves office, so federal investigations are unlikely.

Geoffrey Berman was not a New York State AG. He was a federal AG who worked in New York.

Trump and Barr have no more power to fire a state AG than they have to fire a governor.

Trump/Barr fired the federal attorney in charge of SDNY. That has no bearing on NY state or the NY state AG Letitia James. James seems to be a careerist looking for bigger/better things, and bringing down the Trump family and Trump foundation is a good way for her to open herself up to a future career as NYC mayor, governor of NY state or a NY senator. God bless amoral careerism.

Many of the crimes Trump is accused of violate both state and federal law. Mainly the state laws in NY and FL. NY recently passed a state law allowing prosecutions for crimes even if those crimes were pardoned at the federal level (a shot across the bow at Trump).


I assume the president will make the case he is beyond the laws of mere states.

Do you think this will work?

He wont be the president anymore when these cases are brought up.

See the OP.

I did, but even if Biden didn’t want the NY state government to prosecute him, theres nothing he can do about it. Biden controls the federal gov if he is president, he has no power to tell NY state or the NY AG what to do.

And the NY AG seems to want to become either NYC mayor, NY senator, governor, etc. someday and her prosecuting Trump is a good way to achieve that goal. Biden can cluck his tongue and pull an Obama and talk about ‘lets look forward, not backwards’ but he can’t actually do anything to James other than threaten her fundraising if she runs for higher office someday as a democrat.

Also Biden seems to loathe Trump on a personal level so I don’t think he’d stop an investigation.

When the state AG asks for the fed to produce evidence the current administration can, presumably, cooperate or not.

What do you think a Biden administration would do? Invoke presidential protections that will protect him in the future or open the books?

Why do you think either of these things?

Trump has violated Twitter’s terms of service with nearly every vile twit he’s made. Twitter has left him alone (mostly) on the grounds that his tweets are of “public interest”. Well, once he isn’t prez any more, I don’t see any further tweets from him being of “public interest”. The moment he makes one tweet that violates Twitter’s ToS, they should instaban him.

At the very least, Biden should do these things, and begin immediately:

(1) Total purge of every Trump appointee that a president can purge.

(2) Review of EVERY action Trump has taken, especially his Executive Orders, to see which ones ought to be modified or rescinded.

(3) Review of every action that should be walked back, reversed, or un-done, as best as possible. Do the best we can with all those caged kids, and fast. Get back into the Paris Accord. Get right with NATO again. etc.

Joe’s gonna have his hands full. He should be making his plans, drawing up his lists, already.

It’s a fine line to walk, because I think saying outright, “we’re going to investigate and pursue every possible criminal activity the Trump administration may have engaged in,” looks vengeful and sets an unseemly precedent.

I would be in favor of the Biden administration taking a strong, strong stance against public corruption, and essentially saying, “I have asked the Attorney General and the Justice Department to make public corruption and wrongdoing a significant priority during my time in office. I will rely on the judgement of the AG and the career professionals at DOJ to bring individual prosecutions where supported by evidence.” Insulate the White House from charges of vindictiveness (they’ll be made anyway, but optics are important) while also making it clear that we need to restore trust in government, and that one way to do that is to punish those who would improperly use it for personal gain.

You know…drain the swamp.

I believe The Trump Organization is just crying out for an RICO investigation. And I’d like to see the IRS set loose on Trump also.

To announce publicly that he would encourage the DOJ to investigate members of the previous administration would be a bad precedent to set. He should simply say that he would not interfere in anything that the AG does with respect to that administration and that he would not be pardoning anyone in it. Let the DOJ get its independence back, appoint someone capable as AG and then let him/her do the job.