Media Mention

Jack Goldsmith on the Biden White House’s Breach of Legal Norms

February 12, 2024

Writing in Lawfare, PRP co-chair Jack Goldsmith argued that “President Biden has repeatedly violated the post-Watergate norm against commenting on Justice Department investigations.” He writes:

President Donald Trump relentlessly disregarded the post-Watergate norm that a president should not comment on pending Justice Department investigations, especially ones that concern the president, senior executive branch officials, and political rivals. President Biden pledged to respect and restore the norm. But he has not done so …

The independence norm is designed to check the appearance of presidential meddling with Justice Department decisions that affect presidential interests. The ultimate concern is to preserve the rule of law by ensuring that Justice Department investigative and prosecutorial decisions are and appear politically fair …

[T]he timing of the prosecution, on top of Biden’s norm-breaking public statements, the president’s leaked statements, Biden-supportive commentary that the fate of the country rests on convicting Trump before the election, the many other legal efforts by elected judges and prosecutors who are Democrats to convict Trump or keep him off the ballot, and the aggressive efforts by Trump and his supporters to frame all of these matters for maximum political gain—all make it impossible for the prosecution of Trump to appear non-political before approximately half the country.

Read the full piece here.

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