Former Ambassador and Trump critic Nikki Haley defended her pledge to pardon former President Donald Trump, even if found guilty, by asserting to CNN that the act of pardoning is “not about guilt or innocence.” Haley, who participated in a CNN town hall event, responded to a question from Katherine Duffy, a music professor, about the rationale behind pardoning Trump given the divisiveness he’s associated with in the country.
Haley clarified that when discussing a pardon, it presupposes that the person has already been found guilty. Regarding Trump, she emphasized that he still has to face a legal process to determine his guilt or innocence. However, Haley underscored that her perspective on pardoning is not contingent on guilt or innocence but rather on what she believes is in the best interest of the country.
She argued that the country would not benefit from having an 80-year-old president in jail, as it would perpetuate division. Drawing a parallel with the pardon of Richard Nixon, Haley contended that decisions about pardons should prioritize the country’s healing and unity. In her view, pardoning Trump and moving forward would be in the best interest of the nation, facilitating the healing process and helping the country move beyond the existing chaos. This perspective aligns with Haley’s emphasis on national interests and the belief that the country needs to move past divisive issues for the sake of its unity and well-being.
BURNETT: Kathryn Duffy is a professor of music here at Grand View, and it’s been great to be here these past couple of days in your school. A Republican from Ankeny who says that she supports you. Katherine, go ahead.
HALEY: Hi, Kathryn.
KATHERINE DUFFY, MUSIC PROFESSOR: Thank you for being here —
HALEY: Of course.
DUFFY: — Ambassador Haley. Could you please explain to us your rationale for pardoning Mr. Trump when he’s been associated with so much division and chaos in our country?
HALEY: When you talk about a pardon, the person has already been found guilty. You know, when it comes to President Trump, he still has to face and we’ll find out whether he’s guilty or not. But if we’re talking about a pardon let’s — you’re assuming he’s guilty because nobody gets pardoned if you’re not guilty.
For me, it’s not about guilt or innocence. It’s about what’s in the best interest for the country. And I don’t think our country will move forward with an 80-year -old president sitting in jail that allows our country to continue to be divided. We have to move on past that. And so I honestly do believe, just like
they did with Nixon, you’ve got to say what’s in the best interest of the country. And I think pardoning Trump and moving on is in the best interest of our country if we’re going to heal and if we’re going to get back together, and get out of the chaos.