Trump Desecrates His Office as He Begins His Pardon Spree With Corrupt GOP Politicians
Presidential pardons are used by responsible presidents to correct gross miscarriages of justice, not to reward corrupt political allies as a "get out of jail free" card. But, few would ever call Donald Trump "responsible" and he seems to have a soft spot for the ethically challenged.
So, yesterday Trump pardoned former GOP Representatives Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York, two of the earliest GOP lawmakers to back his campaign in 2016. They had pled guilty to insider-trading and campaign-spending violations and there was a mountain of evidence against both. There is no serious argument that either had been treated unfairly by the criminal justice system.
AP: "FORMER REP. CHRIS COLLINS: Collins, a Republican from New York, was sentenced to serve two months in federal prison after he admitted to helping his son and others dodge $800,000 in stock market losses when he learned that a drug trial by a small pharmaceutical company had failed. He was the first member of Congress to endorse Trump’s presidency."
"EX-REP. DUNCAN HUNTER: Hunter, a Southern California Republican, was sentenced in March to 11 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing about $150,000 from his campaign funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle, from vacations to outings with friends, private school tuition and his daughter’s birthday party."
Trump also pardoned former GOP Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas, who was convicted and sentenced to ten years in 2018 for misuse of charitable assets.
The message Trump sends with these pardons is quite simple; the "swamp" is fine as long as it's a pro-Trump swamp. And, yes, there is a second message. The President is signaling that with nothing left to lose he won't hesitate to desecrate the office of president on his way out the door. So, expect many more pardons for those that have engaged in chicanery at the behest of Donald Trump and, perhaps, much worse.
"With a madman in the White House, we are entering the most dangerous four weeks of his presidency.” — David Gergen, political analyst & adviser to 4 Presidents
By: Don Lam & Curated Content