Pardon Me, Did You Say Trump Is Handing Out Pardons?

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Pardon Me, Pardon You

President Donald Trump has a new title for himself. Yesterday he proclaimed himself to be the ‘Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Country.’ As president, he doesn’t seem to understand that this title belongs to William Barr, who is his attorney general. Trump said, in his opinion, he was the country’s top cop. He said, “I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country.” If that’s the case, then Trump hasn’t learned that the top law enforcement officers do not tell lies. Fact-checkers said that as of the middle of December of last year, he had told 15,413 false or misleading claims while in office.

His Actions Yesterday

Trump apparently put himself in his imaginary position as he started his commuting and pardoning yesterday. Perhaps the most prominent attention was placed on his commute of the former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Common Cause Illinois said, “by commuting Blagojevich’s sentence, Trump was sending a clear message to other corrupt politicians. This decision is wrong and deprives the people of Illinois the justice they deserve.” 

Laura Keiter Ties This To Fox News

Media Matters for America spokeswoman Laura Keiter said that Trump’s tying of the pardons and commutations to Fox News was just another example of the corrupting influence of the network. Keiter said, “President Trump’s…commutation of Rod Blagojevich’s sentence is further proof that Fox News continues to help drive the agenda of Trump’s White House. This is the 11th time that Trump’s use of executive clemency and pardons has been linked to his Fox News obsession.” 

Blagojevich Jailed On Corruption Charges

Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat and the former governor of Illinois, was found guilty on federal corruption charges. This was in regards to him trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat as well as soliciting bribes for political appointments, and other charges. While on the phone, with another state official, he described his plans to sell or trade the safe Democratic seat and said, “I’ve got this thing,” and then described the seat as “golden.” He was also found guilty in his attempt to obtain campaign funds in exchange for legislation that would help the race-track industry. He attempted to pressure an executive at a children’s hospital into contributing money to his campaigns. His conviction also included soliciting bribes, attempted extortion, and wire fraud. He was impeached and unanimously removed from office. He has been barred from holding office in the state. Critics have viewed the former governor as the embodiment of dirty politics. Before his conviction, he appeared on Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” TV show.

Republicans Disagree With Trumps Actions

Republicans in Illinois criticized Trump’s decision. The state’s House Republican delegation said in a statement, “Blagojevich is the face of public corruption in Illinois and not once has he shown any remorse.” Trump countered, “That was a tremendously powerful, ridiculous sentence.” The fact is that the sentence was given following a fair trial, and Trump has interfered with the decision of our court system.

Other People Trump Is Showing Mercy To

Trump also felt mercy for three other high-profile figures. Bernie Kenk, the former New York police commissioner, had pleaded guilty to tax fraud and additional charges. One of his staunchest supporters is Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. Financier Michael Milken was also given mercy after being convicted of securities fraud. He happens to have a celebrity supporter known as Fox host Maria Bartiromo. The former owner of the San Francisco 49ers, Edward DeBartolo Jr., was also shown mercy by the president. He was involved in a gambling scandal. His celebrity supporters include Ohio Pastor Darrell Scott and former NFL player Jerry Rice. 

Is there any doubt that Trump is normalizing corruption? His pardons seem to align with the very sorts of obstruction of justice and financial crimes he’s been implicated in.

Preparing For The Future

If we take a look into the future, is there any doubt that Trump is gearing up to pardon his long-time friend, Roger Stone? Trump says, “I don’t want to say yet whether I would pardon Roger Stone; you have murderers who don’t get nine years.” The president went on to say, “The fact is Roger Stone was treated horribly…nobody even knows what he did.” If Las Vegas is currently taking bets on this pardon, chances are they are for Mr. Stone.