Joy Behar asked Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James several times whether she plans to prosecute President Donald Trump once he left the White House.
Behar, who has made it clear on a number of occasions that she hopes to see Trump go to prison, was no less adamant on Tuesday’s “The View” when she spoke directly to James about whether or not it was a real possibility. (RELATED: ‘He’ll Be Living With Macho Man In Cell Block 11’: Joy Behar Predicts Trump Will Land In Prison)
Cohost Sara Haines began the segment by asking whether President Trump could, if he so chose, preemptively pardon himself. “Can he even do that based on your legal expertise?” she asked.
James said that her understanding was that Trump could preemptively issue pardons to others, but the only way to pardon himself would be to step down and allow Vice President Mike Pence to assume the presidency, at which point he could issue a pardon to Trump.
“I suspect he’ll pardon his family members, his children, his son-in-law and individuals in his administration as well as some of his close associates,” James continued, noting that she did expect him at some point to step down so that Pence could pardon him as well.
“It’s important to understand he’s pardoned from federal crimes. He is not pardoned from state crimes,” James added. “Last year I introduced a bill in the state legislature which would close the pardon loophole so that individuals such as the President of the United States would not evade justice. It’s important we have this check on presidential powers and that the legislature —the state legislature, I’m so happy they passed that bill and it’s now the law in the state of New York. President Trump cannot avoid justice in the great state of New York.”
“So, just to reiterate, there’s no way a potential pardon for Trump or his three eldest kids would shield them from anything you’re investigating?” Behar asked. “Am I right? That’s what you just said —”
“Correct, but it’s important —” James clarified, “Joy, it’s important to understand my investigation is civil in nature. In the event we uncover any conduct or activities that would suggest criminal activities, then that would change obviously our investigation. It would change the posture of our investigation.”
“And you also intend to prosecute him after he’s out of office, correct?” Behar pressed again.
James pushed back, saying again that her office’s investigation was civil rather than criminal. “In the event that we uncover any activity or conduct —” she continued.
Behar asked again, “But will you go ahead with the civil suits?”
James confirmed that the civil suits would go forward whether Trump remained in the White House or not. “So after January 20th at 12:00 our investigation will continue, Joy,” she said.