“Everybody’s Mistakes Except My Own”: Trump’s Final Pardon List Offers A Telling Reflection On His Legacy

I can pardon everybody’s mistakes except my own.” Those words of Cato of Elder have long been the principle guiding presidents who have resisted the temptation of issuing themselves self-pardons.  There have been ample abuses of this power, but that is one dishonor that presidents have spared the country. Despite predictions by many in the media, Trump left office without adding that ignoble distinction. He did not grant clemency to himself, his family, or close associates like Rudy Giuliani. What is so telling is that we are so shellshocked from the last four years that this act of restraint was a reason for celebration and praise.  Notably, the lack of the self-pardon might not be a welcomed by critics as it may appear. There is now no impediment to a charge for incitement, a much-touted possible charge that some of us believe would fail ultimately in the courts on either the trial or appellate levels.

I have admittedly been a critic of President Trump’s record of pardons from his first foray into presidential clemency. Moreover, there are many worthy and righteous pardons issued by the Trump in this final list. Many came through the traditional process of the pardon office and the Justice Department in identifying cases of excessive sentencing or questions of innocence. Yet, today’s pardons will add to Trump’s troubled legacy on clemency.

Some presidents have used pardons to amplify their policies like Barack Obama pardoning hundreds of non-violent drug offenders. Yet, the signature category for Trump was political corruption. Indeed, Trump has pardoned those accused of acts that are similar to allegations that he has faced during this presidency. His legacy is heavily laden with public officials convicted or accused of wrongdoing. He previously granted dubious pardons for former California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter and former GOP Rep. Chris Collins as well as Joe Arpaio, the highly controversial former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

That pattern continued on his last day with pardons for former Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona who convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. He also added former rep. Robert Cannon “Robin” Hayes who served as Chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party and Chair of the National Council of Republican Party Chairs. He was convicted of making a false statement to investigators.  He also added former California Rep. Randall “Duke” Cunningham, who accepted bribes while he held public office.

Also included on the list were political operatives like Paul Erickson, the conservative figure who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges and Robin Hayes, a North Carolina political donor convicted of trying to bribe officials. There is Elliott Broidy, former Deputy National Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee, who was convicted for a conspiracy to serve as an unregistered foreign agent. Yet, the most notable political operative is former adviser Steve Bannon who has not even faced trial on serious fraud claims linked to an online fundraising campaign known as “We Build the Wall.” He was facing one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Notably, Bannon was pardoned but not his alleged co-conspirators – making the clemency look more like a raw personal favor. Bannon’s pardon follows a long list of former Trump associates granted such relief, including Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.

The political beneficiaries were not all democrats. Trump granted clemency for Kwame Malik Kilpatrick one of the most corrupt Democratic mayors in the country. In Detroit, Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering and bribery in office.

In many ways, pardons are a telling reflection of presidents and their times. Some were acts of healing like Thomas Jefferson’s pardoning of those convicted under the infamous Alien and Sedition Act; Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon; and Jimmy Carter’s pardon of Vietnam draft dodgers. Other pardons reflect the corruptions of our times and our Presidents.  President Warren Harding was accused of selling pardons, including to mob enforcer Ignacio Lupo, known as “Lupo the Wolf.”  George H.W. Bush issued pardons for individuals involved with the Iran-Contra affair, including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.  Bill Clinton used his final day in office to debase this power with a pardon to his own brother Roger Clinton and his friend (and fellow Whitewater business partner) Susan McDougal. He also pardoned a man who is generally viewed as one of the least worthy recipients of a pardon in modern history: the fugitive financier and Democratic donor Marc Rich. The list of infamous characters pardoned by presidents is a virtual rogue’s gallery. 

Donald Trump’s pardons are arguably the most reflective of any America president. Trump had the lowest percentage of acts of clemency for a president. Yet, if you were a corrupt politician, a political ally, or a celebrity, Trump seemed inclined to both sympathy and clemency. Indeed, Trump seemed comfortable with openly using the power to reward friends, allies, or family. Trump signed a prior grant to the father of Jared Kushner, one of the most disgraceful pardons ever handed down by a president.  Charles Kushner was described his case as “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he ever prosecuted as U.S. attorney.” The case involved the use of a prostitute, a hidden camera, and an effort to intimidate his own brother-in-law but sending the film to his own sister.  Most presidents would have burned Kushner’s petition in a profilactic act of cleansing. Trump instead granted a presidential act of clemency.

Trump also continued his predilection towards celebrities This includes rapper Lil Wayne who pleaded guilty in 2020 in federal district court to illegally possessing a loaded, gold-plated .45-caliber handgun while flying to Florida on a private jet in 2019 as well as an array of drugs. He also pardoned rapper  Kodak Black, who was sentenced on federal weapons charges.  However, he has been a campaign supporter. No one would credibly claim that these pardons were based on anything other than celebrity status.

The pardon list is also notable in lacking any overarching theme other than personal or political ties. For example, while Trump was moved by Lil Wayne, he was not moved by Julian Assange who is being hounded by the Justice Department due to the publication of classified information on Wikileaks. (In full disclosure, I have worked with the Assange defense team in London). Assange’s case raises major concerns over press freedom and freedom of speech. What he does not have is a gold album – or a gold-plated handgun for that matter.  Someone acting for the interests of the public or free speech clearly does not resonate with Trump as much as those accused of fraud or political corruption or personal excess.

It is bizarre that our expectations of the President on pardons have been reduced so far that there is a sense of gratitude that Trump did not abuse the power with grants to himself or his children. While I have long maintained that the Constitution does not bar self-pardons, I also view it is as an abuse use of that power. This was a rare act of restraint. It will also force the hand of many Trump detractors. For example, the D.C. Attorney General and a host of legal experts have maintained that Trump could be charged with criminal incitement. I believe such a charge would fail in the courts on free speech grounds. If it did so, it could ultimately be cited as a vindication for Trump on his second impeachment. By not pardoning himself, Trump has now forced the hand of these figures who have been insisting that they are eager to bring such cases.  Those claims would now however have to be made to real courts as opposed to pandering to parts of the electorate.

Trump’s pardons show a disregard for prosecutions for political corruption and a great regard for his personal friends and political allies. There is little redeeming in that record. Indeed, in the end, the most redeeming moment was the absence of the additional abuse of self-dealing. Like other aspects of his presidency, Trump can point to that curious distinction as redeeming. Like arguing that he never did fire Robert Mueller, it is a distinction by omission. In terms of his legacy, however, “it could have been worse” is hardly an inspiring political epitaph on presidential clemency.

This column also appeared on Fox.com.

134 thoughts on ““Everybody’s Mistakes Except My Own”: Trump’s Final Pardon List Offers A Telling Reflection On His Legacy”

  1. The Bannon one is interesting in that the crime could pretty much be prosecuted by any state, and has not been prosecuted by the federal government yet. I mean, he defrauded a bunch of MAGA types who live in every state. So how long does it take for this to make it onto, say, the NY AG’s desk? The Biden justice department would be happy to turn over the files.

    1. Fraud like that is very hard to prove against someone willing to go to trial. It was a political indictment and won’t likely be redone

      Sal Sar

  2. Turley rightly condemns Trump for rewarding his corrupt campaign buddies & crooked politicians with pardons & clemencies. We finally know once & for all our 45th President’s true feelings about Law & Order. He freely used the powers of the presidency to allow his buddies to get away with extortion, bribery, witness tampering, insurance fraud, money laundering, racketeering, obstruction of Congress & multiple perjury convictions. No big deal to Trump when one of his in-laws committed “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes ever.” Didn’t bother Trump when his campaign manager got convicted of numerous federal crimes including massive tax fraud for hiding $12 million from his work in Ukraine. The real corruption is whatever Hunter Biden did, right?

    Glad to see Turley finally come around to realizing “claims would now however have to be made to real courts as opposed to pandering to parts of the electorate.” For two and a half months, Trump’s attorneys pandered to parts of the electorate while simultaneously having over 60 cases get tossed out by real courts & real judges. Pandering to the electorate convinced huge numbers of Trump supporters that he won the election in a landslide.

    Yesterday, McConnell summed up the Capitol riots on the Senate floor: “The mob was fed lies. They were provoked by the president & other powerful people.” McConnell called Biden “the people’s real choice for their 46th president.” So let’s all celebrate our new president.

    1. You are certainly entitled to share your opinions, but the daily editorializations of Jonathan Turley himself often make them grating. That is no way to have a conversation or live in a society.

      1. James, I grew up in an era with parents who encouraged & didn’t fear lively debate. I held the belief that if Turley has the freedom to do daily editorials, so do visitors to this blog. It’s clear from your response & others I’ve received in the past, that this is the wrong forum for me to spend my time & energy on. This will be my final post. God speed.

    2. Did you not read Turley’s description of Bill Clinton’s pardons?

      He was far more critical of Clinton than he was to Trump….but as today is Trump’s last day in Office he is the topic of the day….thus the Blog Entry about with a focus on Trump.

      Clinton by far has been the sleaziest but as he is a Democrat, loosely married to the former First Lady who lost her bids for the Presidency…..the Left seems to overlook his use of the Pardon Power.

      Let’s be fair….Trump has given far fewer Pardons than most Presidents, and upon analysis probably far more appropriate Pardons than most Presidents, but as ALL other Presidents in the past has granted some that beg questioning.

      When I see a Pardon being granted to former Aides or Supporters that got caught up in a bogus attempt to overthrow a duly elected President…..and then see the same people that tried to take down an Administration whine about those same Pardons I get a notion they are ignoring the reasons for the Pardons as they are blinded by their bias.

      The President’s Pardon power can somewhat mitigate the harm done to decent American Citizens when the balance beam of justice has a heavy hand laid upon it by political foes of that President,.

      Go about your administration of justice and there would be no need or justification for a Pardon.

      The past four years is proof positive of that without a doubt.

      All you have to do is bring up the name…..Weismann….and anyone who is a student of modern American history knows what overzealousness and prejudicial conduct by a Prosecutor can cause.

      What really remains a question is why and how does such an Individual can cause such harm and escape legitimate repudiation of his actions, motives, and mis-conduct by the very Legal System he impugned and undermined by his activities using the color of law to destroy people and the People’s faith in our Legal System.

      That is what is “un-pardonable” in my view.

  3. You can tell this was written for Fox News.

    “The political beneficiaries were not all democrats.”
    All but one were Republicans. Did you Turley make the mistake, or was it changed by an editor?

    “selling pardons… to [a] mob enforcer”, “pardons for individuals involved with the Iran-Contra affair”, but it was “Bill Clinton … debase[d] this power”.

  4. So many on this blog accepted Steele as a legitimate source and accepted Fiona Hill’s testimony when she was involved as well introducing Steele to the sub source.

    I don’t think those on the left will take responsibility for the hoax. Trump has taken responsibilities for his actions and overall I think he should be proud of them.
    ——
    First Trump declassified Russia document: Christopher Steele’s 2017 confession to the FBI

    Steele told FBI he leaked Russia collusion story to help Clinton and Great Britain, and was connected to his primary dossier source by former NSC staffer and impeachment witness Fiona Hill.

    Story updated today continued at:

    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/first-declassified-russia-document-steeles-confessional?utm_source=daily-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

    1. Anonymous the Stupid, that is your opinion based on your usual lack of knowledge.

      I guess you feel that Fiona Hill’s testimony was not influenced by her own involvement and desires. That is par for the course for a person whose who doesn’t care about the truth.

        1. As I said…, there’s something seriously wrong with this guy who now goes by the name ‘S. Meyer’, but used to call himself ‘Allan.’

          ‘Headcase’ is apt.

  5. I am so saddened to hear that Trump did not pardon either Snowden, Assange, or Kiriakou.
    I had high hopes that these heroes would be released from past and present immoral prosecution of the U.S.

    1. Yes Kiriakou should be pardoned too. Absolutely

      Trump fears the military industrial complex.

      Which apparently is sponsoring this inauguration, since they have 25,000 troops there to supplement the handpicked 2000 elites on hand.

      Very lame!

      Sal Sar

  6. Prof. Turley, you’re not considering the possibility that Trump and the aides who researched these matters for him know something you do not about these specific cases. Remember Conrad Black? After the last several years, I think some of us are justified in thinking that you know a federal prosecutor is lying when his lips are moving.

  7. Biden’s slogan: “Make America Weak Again”

    — Hobble wealth creators by imposing massive government controls on the economy

    — Kneecap the energy industry, e.g., kill the Keystone Pipeline

    — Throttle businesses with entry-level employees by forcing companies to pay $15/hour minimum wages

    — Suffocate industry with widespread environmental regulations

    — Loot wealth by raising taxes

    And, like a vampire, drain America’s spirit:

    — Push Armageddon (to a constant refrain of: “There are dark days ahead.”)

    — Spread the vicious notion that America is a “racist nation”

    — And, above all: Traffic in guilt, some unspecified, unearned guilt — for being “white;” for being a proud American; for wearing a MAGA hat; for wanting to breathe; for wanting to speak without fear of being de-platformed or cancelled; for wanting to be free, productive, happy.

    1. Sam, much as I can see you’re hurting, these talking points are just so 2016. World’s changed a lot since then and aside from our ypoints being factually wrong, they don’t speak to the growing segments of American society at all, just to your cited aggrieved “white” males. Your ballroom days are over…, but they’re certainly going out with a flourish, ayy???

      Elvis Bug

  8. Well, Jon, pat yourself on the back for staying on message in always trying to maintain trump was in the same arena of other presidents. I actually applaud your tenacity and dedication in that respect despite how I think it enabled an out of control president to be even more out of control. I’m hoping the task was financially rewarding and i suspect it truly was for you.

    Truth is, if trump pardoned, or pardons (he still has a few hours left) himself of his family it would be less advantageous in some key ways if and when indictment comes his way down the line. Laudable that you say the indictment coming in the District for incitement will fail on free speech grounds, but the truth is the sentence in Trump’s talk pre Capitol invasion rally that will come back to bite him and venture outside those free speech grounds is the one where he says he’s going to walk to the Capitol with the crowd. That’s straight incitement and along the lines of yelling fire in a crowded theater. That’s where he loses, and where whatever legal effort he’s able to summon really falls hard.

    And this: “That pattern continued on his last day with pardons for former Arizona Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona who convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. “…

    Here is where trump is seeding the ground with his hypnotic style of marketing. it’s really telling actually because I’d say these are the crimes he expects to be charged with. Trump is a master of repetition of hoped for outcomes (annoyingly so). No mistake he’s trying to preempt public opinion on criminal charges he expects to face himself…

    I have to admit I’ve been fascinated by what will result from his stealing $50 million from his inauguration fund in his first real act as president. And also his fraudulent fundraising off the big lie of winning the election vs. Biden. Fraud on the way in. Fraud on the way out. Trump university beforehand — and also, tactically anyway, during his administration.

    What a depressing, yet completely fascinating, chapter in American history. It tells a lot more about the country writ large than the orange, rat pelt domed carnival barker on his way to Mar a Lago as we speak.

    Elvis Bug

    1. Aninny:

      “What a depressing, yet completely fascinating, chapter in American history. It tells a lot more about the country writ large than the orange, rat pelt domed carnival barker on his way to Mar a Lago as we speak.
      ***********************************
      If you think you were fascinated this time around wait until Biden “seniles” away the midterms elections! I suspect you are continually mesmerized. Oh and Trump’s populist movement is beginning not ending.

  9. Accepting a pre-trial pardon is an implicit admission that you are not 100% confident that you will be acquitted at trial because you know- as only you would- that your conduct was not entirely innocent. A self-pardon is anathema to a megalomaniac who deludes himself into thinking he never does anything wrong like Trump. After his lawyers could not guarantee that his self-pardon would be 100% constitutional, it was not a safe bet for a conman. If a self-pardon was constitutionally unassailable as Turley suggests, I think Trump would have taken it. It is surprising that Turley has not made a reference to any academic article of his explaining why he thinks a self-pardon is constitutional- a view which I think is held by a minority. I would like to know why he thinks the Framers would have granted monarchical powers onto a citizen President in service to a country founded on the bedrock principle that no man is above the law.

    1. Jeffery, you remarks show just how little you know about trials. A pardon assures your freedom, while even a trial that is totally winnable, can be lost.

      1. Holy Moly, if I knew for a fact that there was no evidence that could find me guilty, I would not need a pre-emptive pardon. There is shame in accepting a pardon which one is willing to bear when the alternative is worse!

    2. Help by a minority? Including Speaker Pelosi who said flat out in her recent 60 minutes interview that he could do it.

      it most certainly would be constitutional….. until a federal court presumed to say otherwise

      if they dared

      but yes, to some degree Sliverman is right, Trump would not want to suggest he was not fully confident in himself. He’s smart that way.

      Sal Sar

  10. Trump’s legacy is capped with an act that goes right to his damaged nature and inability to lead – too small to follow 150 years of a tradition which shows the nation is greater than the office holders, he was unable to attend the inauguration of of his successor, welcome him to the White House, or even mention his name. That says it all.

    Good riddance to this puny man and poor loser.

  11. How long will everything that goes wrong will be Trump’s fault? Obama blamed Geo. Bush for 7 years, IIRC. The current cast of D’s will beat that easily

  12. When the term expires we can compare pardons and commutations with Obama, 212 pardons and 1,715 commutations.

    1. The issue isn’t the number, Allan, but the actual people pardoned, what their crimes were, and what their relationship to Trump is (e.g., co-conspirator, donor).

      1. Anonymous the Stupid, I won’t deny that I agree with that basic thought though as usual you limited it to Trump’s relationships. How about Obama’s since I provided his numbers? You forgot that because there is an element of dishonesty in everything you say.

        In the end Trump was accused of all sorts of things having to do with pardons, including the number that was expected. As usual the leftist predictions and accusations were wrong.

        1. Again, Allan, I don’t care about the numbers per se.

          If you think that Obama pardoned co-conspirators or donors or some other corrupt category, name them.

          1. “Again, Allan, I don’t care about the numbers per se.”

            Anonymous the Stupid are you unable to read? I said, “I won’t deny that I agree with that basic thought though as usual you limited it to Trump’s relationships.”

            Though I didn’t want to go through those that killed after commutation by Obama and others whose pardons weren’t acceptable I will provide one that has always stuck in my head. ( A head to head with Trumps pardons and commutations with Obama will lead to Obama having pardoned or commuted more of the worst than Trump and we will be finished with the comparison before we evaluated half of Obama’s.)

            “Most Americans may not have heard of Lopez, or the organization he helped lead, the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN), a radical Marxist Puerto Rican independence group. With the focus of post-9/11 terrorism falling almost exclusively on Islamist radicals, the violent nationalists of yesteryear—Puerto Rican, Cuban, Croatian and Jewish—have faded into obscurity. But during the FALN’s explosive heyday under Lopez’s leadership, the group was anything but obscure. In fact, from 1974, when the group announced itself with its first bombings, to 1983, when arrests finally destroyed its membership base, the FALN was the most organized, active, well-trained and deadly domestic terror group based in the United States.”

            https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/oscar-lopez-commutation-barack-obama-214685

            1. A commutation isn’t a pardon.

              Wiki –
              “President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s sentence; he was released in May 2017, having served 36 years in prison, longer than any other member of the FALN. … No one was injured in any of the bombings which López Rivera was accused of being involved in.”

              1. “A commutation isn’t a pardon.”

                Anonymous the Stupid, since I included both in the numbers and made mention of both more than once it is obvious I know that a commutation is not a pardon. Why would you say such a thing after it was made clear to you? Is it because you have a problem with reading comprehension? It certainly seems that way.

                As far as Lopez is concerned, he was a leader of the FALN the most dangerous terrorist group on US soil. 130 bombings that killed many people. Your excuse is, no one was killed in his personal bombings. He even participated in making the bombs. The fact that he was leader and thereby responsible for many deaths escapes you. The fact that his criminality continued while in jail also escapes you.

                Why does that guilt escape you? Because you are into the quick resource check that is superficial and provides only what you wish to hear. That is what children do. As usual you will run away again and later repost the same garbage without leaning a thing. That makes you true to your name, Anonymous the Stupid.

  13. People are only “shellshocked from the last four years” bc they have been incited and gaslighted by the media and the ignoble Democrat party for 4.5 years. Dems and the media’s focus is on emotional outrage and hatred for conservatives, despite the obvious success of the Republican agenda economically, socially, and in producing results like the vaccine for the American people. Their absurd speculation and conspiracy theories about everything from Gen Flynn, collusion, etc has created a “shellshocked” and ignorant population. It’s literally disgusting what Democrats will do for power … and given their continued hours of hate and their attempts to “punish” conservatives, it is likely going to be disgusting what Democrats do with power.

    1. What you write is absurd. It is the Rs that have spread conspiracy theories and the Big Lie. The Trump agenda was not any better then the D policies, and a normal R would have done better. The conservative hate for liberals is far more then any the liberals show the conservatives. And it was not the Ds that created the Big Lie and tried to storm the capital to install and unelected president.

  14. You would think that a reprobate such as Charles Kushner who has served his time would just as soon not remind the world of the despicable act he committed on his family by seeking a high-profile pardon- as if the pardon would erase his conduct from people’s memory. Trump’s pardon serves only to add to Kushner’s ignominy by reminding people that crime pays when you know the right corrupt people. Kushner will remain a moral leper and social outcast of decent society pardoned or not. And by virtue of his enabling of Trumpism, his son Jared has followed in his father’s cut-throat footsteps if that is any satisfaction to him.

  15. You really don’t like the guy & I fund you dishonest. The man was never giving a break with MSM & so many even by the republican party. So many hate toward man who just love his country. But its okay now because you have, a creepy disgusting guy who is ready for home.
    With wife who fakes being Dr
    & a women with creepy laughter. Is that better?

  16. (music to tune of Dam Stone came home)
    Don Trump…flew home…
    With his wife and famileee!
    After serving time in Washington DC!
    And the time that he served…
    Has shattered many nerves…
    And left a lot of catholics on their knees!

    1. Well, truth be told, the last line in your stanza is what the Catholic priests did to many alter boys. Maybe trump has also, who knows?

      Either way, take home message is we can all rest and recover a bit from this cultural kegger gone way wrong for a bit.

  17. He is on the plane for Florida. He is soon to sign more pardons for family, Rudy and self. The plane will circle over the White House and Trump will flush the toilet.

    1. I don’t think the plane will stop when it arrives in Florida. They’ll just open the door and kick him out, “good luck with that sir”.

      1. Or maybe they’ll just scurry him down the steps of the plane and throw his stuff out on the tarmac. That would be awesome.

        Rally at Mar a Lago tonight! Everyone just show up unannounced! Lol.

        Elvis Bug

        1. There is the difference between Leftists and those on the Right…..we manage to respect the Office of President of the United States even though we deeply despise the occupant of the Office.

          As with Obama and now Biden I find myself in that same exact position….as I see the policies and agenda being pushed by then Obama and now Biden…are counter to everything I believe in.

          Though I have doubts about the Election….I acknowledge that in a few minutes we shall have a peaceful transfer of power.

          I am not happy with. the outcome and do not support the agenda that is going to be inflicted upon this Nation but I shall with reluctance respect the Office and our system of government.

          I very much wish the Left had done as much four years ago and had acted in a manner that would have focused debate upon the Issues and rejected Identity Politics and shown some effort to focus upon the People’s business and not the lost power of the Democrat Party.

          So…today Biden is President and Harris is Vice-President…..and I am going to sit back and as politely as possible argue issues with the Left.

          I am also marking the Calendar each day to see how long it is before the Left removes Biden and corronates Harris…..that will be the biggest issue Democrats shall face in the next four years…..mark my words on this.

          All that talk about the 25th Amendment re Trump by the Left was just stage dressing for what is coming within its own ranks.

          Six months….and it shall be game on for you on the Left….anyone care to make a Gentleman’s Wager?

  18. The last of Trump’s dirty deeds. Trump wanted to pardon himself according to reports, but was strongly dissuaded by his own lawyers from doing it. He didn’t chose to do it out of his own volition. He had to be strenuously persuaded not to pardon himself. Now Trump faces a mountains of legal issues and investigations from which he has no immunity from.

    1. He’d been obsessed with the idea of a self-pardon for months, that’s how it leaked. Like you said someone talked him out of it and it sure wasn’t his conscience. He’s still got a state trial looming so looking more criminal wouldn’t help him there. As for this pardon list Turley is leaving out that Wayne clearly had to pose with him before the election in exchange for his pardon kind of like other rappers (50 cent) note he offered to pay them for an endorsement. I can’t say I blame Wayne since the older you get, time becomes more valuable than money and being locked away until 2030 vs taking a picture with someone you dislike to walk free, the choice is clear and can’t really be compared to those who would sell out their friends for freedom or accept money to betray their morals, for a president to demand endorsements for pardons should constitute bribery. As for Bannon getting a pardon while his associates rot, terrible but not surprising.

      1. CK07, it seems Turley is relieved that Trump didn’t pardon himself. He would have had to do a massive mental gymnastics routine to pull off a justifiable excuse.

        1. Lol, I think he’d have ignored the moral relativism and stuck to a discussion on the legality and wisdom of it or the vagueness or lack thereof, claiming other outlets were too sure of themselves in labeling it illegal or unconstitutional or maybe admitting it was immoral but throwing the Trumpers a bone by saying it’s protected.

          Well this marks the end to an unbelievably ridiculous era. I only hope that this blog shifts back to how it was pre-Trump, because the direction it was going, it was starting to look more like an asylum for conned Trumpets than a legal debate blog.

          1. CK07, I will definitely be interesting to see how quickly blame gets shifted for the mess left by Trump onto Biden. I bet it won’t be long.

            I look forward to at the very least complete and concise sentences actually saying something from this Administration. Something better than 5th grader English.

            1. The right is already blaming Biden for the DC lockdown and troop presence and he hasn’t even been sworn in yet. As if the MAGA rioters who were ready to hang Pence and just a few steps away from capturing or killing half of congress had nothing to do with it. I don’t mind so much that they’re dumb, Bush wasn’t the most articulate leader. It’s the wanton evil and arrogance on top of the stupidity of the Trump admin that makes it the worst in history. The last few months have made the picture as clear as possible, with priorities on lying to Americans, killing as many on death row as quickly as possible, golfing and ignoring the COVID crisis. I’m looking forward to getting this country back on track.

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