Somebody Please Take His Pardon Pen?

What do these two men have in common?

They are both bigots and haters, they have both broken the law, and they are both so well-loved by Donald Trump that he has used his pardon pen to exonerate them of any wrongdoing.  Sorry, Trump, they are both ugly people without a shred of humanity and in my book, they are still guilty.

Until the reign of Trump, arguably the most controversial presidential pardon had been that of Gerald Ford pardoning Richard Nixon.  Nixon committed a crime, rigged an election, and did not deserve to be pardoned.  But I would argue that the pardons of Joe Arpaio and Dinesh D’Souza are even worse than Nixon’s.  Why?  Because Nixon was done, there was no way he was going to be allowed back into the political arena after Watergate.  Arpaio, however, has been unleashed upon the nation and is now running for a seat in the U.S. Senate.  D’Souza?  Who knows what doors this pardon may open for him, and while it is too late for him to run for a congressional seat this year, I would not be surprised to see him on the ballot in 2020.

You already know about Joe Arpaio, and if you need a memory refresher, you can check him out here.  So, let’s talk a little bit about D’Souza.

D’Souza is an uber-conservative political commentator, author, filmmaker, and convicted felon.  He was an avid Obama-hater and in fact seems to hate anything and anybody associated with the Democratic Party.  His crime?  Campaign finance fraud.  He donated 5 times the FEC limit on direct contributions ($5,000) by an individual to a PAC in the campaign of Wendy Long, the longshot Republican nominee running against Kristen Gillibrand for US Senate in New York in 2012.  He did this by using his friends as a ‘pass-through’ for contributions of $5,000 each.  Campaign finance violations are felonies, and D’Souza pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a $30,000 fine, five years’ probation, and eight months in a community confinement center (halfway house).  D’Souza served his time, but only at night … he merely went there to sleep, and his days were unsupervised.

D’Souza is an intellectual who was once well-respected within the Republican Party, but in recent years has turned more toward conspiracy theories against Democrats, and specifically against President Obama and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

As I was writing this post, a news flash came across my screen that Trump is also considering pardoning Martha Stewart and commuting the sentence of Rod Blagojevich.  Huh???  Did the man just wake up this morning and decide to pardon everyone?

Generally, those seeking pardons must wait five years from the date they are released from confinement before becoming eligible, and they must apply to the Office of the Pardon Attorney.  Joe Arpaio never served a day in prison, thanks to Trump’s pardon which came shortly after he was convicted of criminal contempt of court.  D’Souza was only convicted in 2014, and did not even file an application for pardon.

Martha Stewart, convicted in 2004 of insider trading and lying, doesn’t much bother me, for I consider her beneath serious thought. For the life of me, though, I cannot understand why Trump would want to pardon her. But Blagojevich was the governor of Illinois when he was convicted for trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.  Would Trump’s pardon allow him to re-enter politics?  Let’s hope not.

The conclusion we can draw from this latest madness is that Trump believes that the laws are there for some people, but that they do not apply to him, and that he can decide to whom they do apply.  Now, granted there have been questionable and controversial pardons throughout history.  But those are in the past, and we are living in the present, the reign of Trump that I am seriously beginning to think of as the Second Reign of Terror.  Is Trump pardoning these people to add to his list of loyal sycophants?

And now, I raise the question:  Who will Trump pardon next?  Whose sentence might he try to commute?  Dylan Roof who murdered 9 people in a church in 2015?  Can he pardon a murderer?  Under certain circumstances, yes.

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution reads:

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

The only people he cannot pardon are those who are impeached, or those who are convicted of a state criminal offense.  I have mentioned before that it may be time for some serious revisions to the Constitution.  I repeat.  The framers of the Constitution never, in their wildest nightmares, could have imagined the madman who now occupies the White House.  They honestly trusted the American people with having the good sense to select only the best people to oversee our government.  I have the greatest respect for the Founding Fathers, but … boy did they screw up on that trust thing!pardon-2

15 thoughts on “Somebody Please Take His Pardon Pen?

  1. Hilarious … washes away the sins of others. Must be some sort of saviour? Even Martha gets in on the act. Heal me she pleaded, Heal me Donald she cried. Heal me of insider trading and take away the pain of the nasty sentence in the slammer. Cheers Jamie

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  2. Jill, for some reason, I think these pardons have two purposes beyond the pardoning of the individuals. First, Trump is a very vindictive person. I think he is trying to send a message to the people who prosecuted them and their informants, I will pardon whomever you convict, so knock yourself out on pursuing the Russia thing, as he calls it.

    Second, I think these pardons are a distraction. His greatest strength is marketing, so he is changing the message so cable news will talk more about the pardons.

    Watching him for almost three years, it has become predictable. When bad news hits the fan, he will tweet or say something provocative or inane. I think people should stop covering his campaign style events. No governance is going on and he is just beating on his chest. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think your assessment is spot on! Yes, I think he is sending a message that he will darn well pardon whomever he pleases. Wouldn’t surprise me if he pardons Manafort first thing. And remember how he was looking into whether he could pardon himself last year? That one never was definitively answered, but my question would be … if he is innocent of any wrongdoing, as he claims, then why would he be looking into whether he could pardon himself? And yes, also a smokescreen. He did not make any friends with his tariffs yesterday, and then there is all the information that New York and the FBI have gathered from Michael Cohen’s offices. He is so far over his head, but if he throws enough smoke & mirrors up, I guess he thinks we won’t realize it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, as he did not follow the normal pardon vetting process (there is that vetting word again), he made the process political. Time and again, he shows the rules do not apply to him and is offended when that is pointed out. It will be interesting to see if any of Mueller’s future indictments will be in a state court as he did with Cohen. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Jill,

    We both know that President Trump is throwing red meat to his base who love this. So what if the president is trampling on the “rule of law.” He isn’t vetting these pardons through the normal channels like our past presidents.

    President Trump knows both Martha Stewart and Rod Blagojevich as they were both on his apprentice TV show.

    The president had some really bad news yesterday when he learned that the SDNY US attorneys and the FBI have been granted by the courts possession of almost all the evidence the FBI gathered during the 4/9/18 raid on the work locations of Michael Cohen along with lots of audio tapes that he had recorded and then the FBI mentioned that its lab is piecing together documents that were shredded.

    So today, the president acted out with enacting tariffs and then with pardoning a racist criminal.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wasn’t previously aware that Stewart and Blagojevich had been on Trump’s television show. Well, if I ever had any doubts about the character of either of them (I didn’t), it should be perfectly clear now, eh?

      I was pleased about SDNY and the FBI receiving the information, especially the videotapes. And Trump cannot do a bloomin’ thing about what takes place in New York. Let justice be swift before he destroys much more.

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have never understood what the founding father’s were thinking when this Article 2 of the Constitution was written. Why should any president have the ability to pardon anyone for any offense? One is guilty, but excused because???…the president says so! I really should research this, as it seems of much greater importance at present. I have read that Trump could pardon himself, of what exactly I’m not sure. I hope that is “fake news” in the event that he actually is charged with anything. Thank-you!

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    • I think that back in 1787, it made full sense, for the law was such that innocent men were sent to prison often. Also … at that time, there were a number whose only crime was supporting the crown during the war, and who they felt ought to be pardoned as long as they were willing to work to build this nation. Now, though? I think we have abused the pardon pen for long enough.

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      • Adam Liptak of The New York Times had an article dated May 31, 2018 that I read this morning and found helpful. “How Far Can Trump Go in Issuing Pardons?” answered some of my questions and may be of interest to others as well. Thank-you!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    PARDON POWER … ‘They are both bigots and haters, they have both broken the law, and they are both so well-loved by Donald Trump that he has used his pardon pen to exonerate them of any wrongdoing. Sorry, Trump, they are both ugly people without a shred of humanity and in my book, they are still guilty.’

    Liked by 1 person

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