Biden wouldn't block Trump's prosecution if the Justice Department pursued it

The Democrat said an attempt to prosecute a former president would be 'very, very unusual'

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden said Tuesday that if he were to beat President Trump in November, he would not block an attempt from the Justice Department to prosecute the former president.

Biden said that while the act against a former U.S. president would be "very, very unusual" and "not very ... good for democracy," he would not block such an action, during a virtual interview with the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists on Tuesday.

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"Look, the Justice Department is not the president's private law firm," Biden told NPR reporter Lulu Garcia-Navarro. "The attorney general is not the president's private lawyer. I will not interfere with the Justice Department's judgment of whether or not they think they should pursue the prosecution of anyone that they think has violated the law."

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks June 30, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks June 30, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

He added that he would not direct any such prosecution against Trump if he were elected.

"If [a case] prove[s] to be a criminal offense, then in fact, that would be up to the attorney general to decide whether he or she wanted to proceed with it. I am not going to make that individual judgment," Biden said.

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Garcia-Navarro prefaced her question by bringing up Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a former prosecutor who said in a June 2019 interview with the "NPR Politics Podcast" that the Justice Department "would have no choice" but to prosecute Trump based on findings from special counsel Robert Mueller's report published in April 2019.

Biden also brought up "cases going on in the New York court," referencing ongoing investigations of Trump and his organization by the Southern District of New York.

Biden said Harris is "very much in contention" as a potential vice president.

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