J.D. Vance Endorses Trump’s Call for a Special Prosecutor Against Biden

Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, a potential running mate for former President Donald J. Trump, said on Sunday that he supported Mr. Trump’s vow, if he won in November, to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate President Biden.

“I find it interesting how much the media and the Democrats have lost their mind over this particular quote,” Mr. Vance said on NBC News, referring to Mr. Trump’s saying that he would “appoint a real special prosecutor to go after the most corrupt president in the history of the United States of America, Joe Biden, and the entire Biden crime family.”

“I think what Donald Trump is simply saying is we ought to investigate the prior administration,” Mr. Vance said. “There are obviously many instances of wrongdoing. The House Oversight Committee has identified a number of corrupt business transactions that may or may not be criminal. Of course you have to investigate to find out. So I think Donald Trump saying, ‘Look, let’s do the basic work of investigating wrongdoing,’ is a totally reasonable thing for him to do.”

He added, “Joe Biden has done exactly that for the last few years, and has done far more in addition to that to engage in a campaign of ‘lawfare’ against his political opposition.”

That is misleading. There is no evidence that Mr. Biden has been involved in the prosecutorial decisions of his Justice Department, which traditionally makes such decisions independently of the White House. Mr. Trump wants to end that independence.

The claim of “corrupt business transactions” appeared to be a reference to the House Oversight Committee’s search for evidence of impeachable conduct by Mr. Biden, which it has not found. The committee has sought to connect Mr. Biden to his son Hunter’s business dealings, but much of the purported evidence it has presented has been out of context.

The NBC anchor Kristen Welker pressed Mr. Vance on his support for a special prosecutor. “If it’s not OK for Joe Biden to weaponize the Justice Department — as you say, which there’s no evidence of that — why is it OK for Donald Trump to do that?” she asked.

Mr. Vance pointed, as many Republicans have, to the fact that one former official in Mr. Biden’s Justice Department worked as a prosecutor in the New York case in which Mr. Trump was convicted of 34 felonies.

“If Donald Trump’s attorney general had his No. 2 or his No. 3 jump ship to a local prosecutor’s office in Ohio or Wisconsin, and that person then went after Donald Trump’s political opposition, that’s a different conversation,” he replied. “All he’s suggesting is that we should investigate credible arguments of wrongdoing. That’s all that Donald Trump is saying. That is not a threat to democracy.”

Mr. Trump has called repeatedly for prosecuting his political opponents and said last month, “Sometimes revenge can be justified.” A week ago, he shared posts on his social media site that advocated jailing top Democrats and Republicans who had criticized him — including one that said former Representative Liz Cheney, an anti-Trump Republican, should be subjected to “televised military tribunals.”

Mr. Vance did not discuss how the Supreme Court’s ruling last week that presidents have substantial immunity from prosecution might affect his and Mr. Trump’s desire for a special prosecutor to investigate Mr. Biden.

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