White House chief of staff Ron Klain compared Trump to Richard Nixon, says Biden has confidence in AG Garland for prosecution decisions

  • White House chief of staff Ron Klain compared Trump with Nixon during a recent ABC interview.
  • Klain refuted a NYT report that Biden wanted Garland to move more aggressively on Jan. 6-related cases.
  • “I’ve never heard the president say that — advocate the prosecution of any person,” he said.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain on Sunday compared former President Donald Trump to Richard Nixon — who resigned from the presidency in 1974 in the wake of the Watergate scandal — in arguing that President Joe Biden has rejected the notion that a commander-in-chief should push for prosecutions from the Oval Office.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Klain sought to tie Trump and Nixon together unfavorably while also refuting a recent New York Times report that said Biden privately wanted Trump to be prosecuted for his role on January 6.

The Times report also said that Biden was becoming increasingly frustrated with Attorney General Merrick Garland, with the president reportedly describing the attorney general as a “ponderous judge” who needed to take more “decisive action” regarding the Capitol siege.

“I’ve never heard the president say that — advocate the prosecution of any person,” Klain told Stephanopoulos.

He continued: “Look, one reason why Joe Biden got elected was he promised that we’d take the decision over who got prosecuted and what away from the White House and put it in the Justice Department. Only Richard Nixon and Donald Trump in the modern era believed that prosecution decisions should be made in the Oval Office, not at the Justice Department.”

Klain reaffirmed that Biden would not interfere in active investigations at the Justice Department and had no questions about Garland’s judgment.

“We have returned the practice that every other president, Democratic and Republican has had since Watergate, other than Trump, to let those decisions be made at the Justice Department,” he said. “The president has confidence in the attorney general to make those decisions, and that’s where those decisions should be made.”

Stephanopoulos also asked Klain about the president’s son, Hunter Biden, regarding an intensifying Justice Department probe into his tax affairs.

“The president’s confident that his son didn’t break the law,” he said. “But, most importantly, as I said, that’s a matter that’s going to be decided by the Justice Department, by the legal process. It’s something that no one at the White House has involvement in.”