Biden tonight got the most vexing question his presidency would face on Day 1: What to do about the last guy who had the job. @Politicsinsider ($)
Everything that has happened over the past 5 years of Trump's roller-coaster political career suggests he could end up as a defendant in any # of criminal cases brought by federal or state prosecutors once he no longer enjoys the immunity that comes from being POTUS.
Tough decisions would loom for both Biden & his DOJ as they considered the evidence, history, & political implications swirling around what would be an unprecedented criminal case guaranteed to blot out the sun for pretty much anything else he'd hope to accomplish on his agenda.
Stephanopoulos asked Biden directly tonight what his DOJ would do with the evidence Mueller accumulated. Biden replied: "What the Biden Justice Department will do is let the Justice Department be the Department of Justice. Let them make the judgments of who should be prosecuted."
Pressed again on his stance on such an important decision, Biden said, "I'm not going to rule it in or out. I'm going to hire really 1st rate prosecutors & people who understand the law like Democrat and Republican administrations have had & let them make the judgment."
Biden gave the same answer during the primaries. But back when she was running for president, Sen. Kamala Harris during an interview with NPR in June 2019 said her DOJ "would have no choice and that they should" prosecute Trump.
Obama in '09 as president-elect took a stance similar to where Biden is now when he faced a left flank clamoring for prosecutions of Bush, Cheney, & other GOP admin officials over allegations of crimes tied to the Iraq & Afghanistan wars & CIA's "enhanced interrogation" programs.
Obama in January 2009 told Stephanopoulos in an ABC interview just before he and Biden were sworn in that he had "a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards."
Democratic insiders & other law-enforcement experts maintain the best path for Biden would be to let the normal procedure play out, w/ FBI-led investigators providing evidence to US attorneys, who then would make their charging decisions alongside the top brass at the DOJ.

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More from @dsamuelsohn

16 Oct
Trump advisers, campaign staff and other Rs are starting to assign blame for what looks like it could be a big loss for POTUS and the GOP in November, according to interviews with more than a dozen GOP sources. by @tomlobianco & @davelevinthal ($)…
Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale has taken most of the heat. But other Republicans interviewed by Insider are emphatic that Parscale hasn't failed alone and that Jared Kushner, Bill Stepien and the president himself bear more responsibility.
"The one person to blame for all this is Donald J. Trump," said one Republican close to the Trump campaign.
Read 11 tweets
16 Oct
A Supreme Court clerkship is one of the most prestigious jobs a young lawyer can take. It can fast-forward careers and open doors to the highest levels of power. Meet this term's clerks here. by @KaylaEpstein @Politicsinsider ($)$
Clerks at the high court have gone on to become CEOs, senators, high-powered attorneys, and even returned as Supreme Court justices. Amy Coney Barrett — President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia.
This year's class of clerks includes a history-making editor of the Harvard Law Review, an Army vet, & a former White House and DOJ counsel who defended the Trump administration against Democratic congressional oversight that spilled out of Mueller's Russia investigation.
Read 7 tweets
13 Oct
SCOOP: Brad Parscale planned for a stunning cash windfall during the campaign's home stretch to cover equally shocking spending but that would have left Trump 2020 broke by October, according to 3 Rs close to the president's campaign. by @tomlobianco ($)
Parscale was banking on campaign donations to miraculously double in October by about $200M more than other recent months, said one Republican close to the president.
The Republican said Trump's new campaign team, led by Bill Stepien, had to rush to cancel the spending approved by Parscale to salvage the president's bid for a second term.
Read 9 tweets
13 Oct
3 minor-party candidates who share the 2020 ballot w/ President Trump and Joe Biden tell @Politicsinsider that the revolutionary ideas they espouse, and the transformative ideals they represent, are worth your vote now more than ever. by @davelevinthal ($)
"I hope I'm a spoiler!" Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party candidate and only person other than Trump and Biden to appear on the presidential ballots of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, told Insider.
Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins said in an exclusive interview that he too has "no qualms" about playing spoiler in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Michigan, and Iowa — the most hotly contested states among the 29 (plus D.C.) where his name appears on the ballot.
Read 11 tweets
12 Oct
NEW: Washington's influence crowd — a whole industry whose livelihood depends on predicting political fortunes — is racing to figure out what Joe Biden's administration would look like. by @rbravender & @tomlobianco in @Politicsinsider ($)
Lobbyists are poring over Biden policy platforms for clues. They're gaming out who gets Cabinet & WH gigs. Firms are eyeing new Democratic hires & Republicans are worried about job security as the left appears poised for big gains in the executive branch & on Capitol Hill.
"I'm telling people to prepare for a Democratic wave," said Jim Moran, a former Democratic congressman for Virginia who's now a lobbyist at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP.
Read 6 tweets
12 Oct
The acting director of the White House Domestic Policy Council told @Politicsinsider that a backup plan if SCOTUS strikes down the Affordable Care Act is "being worked on" but indicated the administration hadn't settled on a solution. by @leonardkl ($)
"Obviously if the Affordable Care Act is struck down, we will be ready," said the DPC's Brooke Rollins. "If it is not, then we're going to continue to improve the current system."
The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the ACA a week after the November 3 election. The Trump administration argues the entire law, which was signed by former President Barack Obama, should be wiped out, threatening coverage for 20 million people.
Read 5 tweets

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