The New York Times headline told it like it is yesterday when it explained that President Donald Trump’s latest spate of pardons amounted to “Efforts [to] Help a Who’s-Who of Political and Corporate Convicts.”
This is from the story:
“President Trump, citing what he said was advice from friends and business associates, granted clemency on Tuesday to a who’s who of white-collar criminals from politics, sports and business who were convicted on charges involving fraud, corruption and lies — including the financier Michael R. Milken.
The president pardoned Mr. Milken, the so-called junk bond king of the 1980s, as well as the former New York City police commissioner Bernard B. Kerik and Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers. He also commuted the sentence of Rod R. Blagojevich, a former Democratic governor of Illinois.
Their political and finance schemes made them household names, and three received prison terms while Mr. DeBartolo paid a $1 million fine.”
Meanwhile, Philip Bump of the Washington Post put it this way in assessing Trump’s action:
“It’s remarkable that one facet of Trump’s defense during the impeachment trial was that his interactions with Ukraine were both appropriate and centered on his desire to uproot official corruption. It was an indefensible claim on its face, given that the extent of the corruption for which Trump had expressed any concern was that allegedly surrounding former vice president Joe Biden, a potential 2020 opponent of Trump. But Trump’s flurry of presidential acts of clemency on Tuesday truly makes clear how indifferent he is about misbehavior by public officials — particularly when considered alongside his past pardons and commutations.”
In other words — as if we didn’t already know it all too well — Trump’s actions are beyond the pale. Many of his pals are crooks and dictators and it continues to amaze on a daily basis that not a single prominent Republican politician, save for Senator Mitt Romney, possesses the guts to stand up to him.