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Opinion Trump is turning his pardon power into a shield

23:25  18 february  2020
23:25  18 february  2020 Source:   cnn.com

Roger Stone's friends start up public effort to push for pardon as Trump remains non-committal

  Roger Stone's friends start up public effort to push for pardon as Trump remains non-committal A former adviser to President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and a longtime friend of Roger Stone confirmed Wednesday that he is leading an effort to have the former Trump associate pardoned. The "Pardon Roger Stone" group was organized to raise money for Stone and his family, collect signatures in favor of a pardon and create an avenue for the White House to discuss clemency with Stone's associates. "We're raising money, raising awareness and assuring the White House that we stand by for contact when, and if, they're ready," said Michael Caputo, the leader of the push.

Jennifer Rodgers writes that Trump 's pardon history has been problematic, but the President has gone beyond using the pardon power on his personal whim and is now using it for his personal protection. Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Michael Cohen

Trump is turning his pardon power into a shield . They are right. There may be some, however, who might see this as a patriotic act And pardoning those accused, who have not even stood trial before a military court charged with administering justice, is especially contrary to established norms.

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Donald Trump et al. sitting at a desk: US President Donald Trump signs the first veto of his presidency, overriding a congressional resolution to secure emergency funds to build his much-vaunted wall on the US-Mexico border in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2019. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)© NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump signs the first veto of his presidency, overriding a congressional resolution to secure emergency funds to build his much-vaunted wall on the US-Mexico border in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on March 15, 2019. (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump can't stop talking about pardons. Among other news stories last week were various, sometimes conflicting, accounts about whether and when Michael Cohen may have sought a pardon. And in the wake of Paul Manafort's second sentencing last week, the White House again refused to rule out a pardon for him; in fact, Sarah Sanders as much as said a pardon would be considered, when the President is ready.

Trump pardons Michael Milken, face of 1980s insider financial scandals

  Trump pardons Michael Milken, face of 1980s insider financial scandals Milken, 73, originally was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but that punishment was later reduced to two years locked up after he cooperated with federal investigators. Milken also is banned for life from working in the securities industry. It was not immediately clear Tuesday if that ban would be lifted as a result of his pardon.That pardon, which had been considered for as long as two years, was one of 11 acts of executive clemency issued Tuesday by Trump.The president also granted pardons to former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik and ex-San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr.

By showing his willingness to use his pardon power so early and often in his term, the President may be giving hope to former friends and associates, like Approached in this context, Trump 's pardons fit into a convenient narrative where he targets for mercy those who were supposedly treated unfairly by

How Trump Is Using the Power to Pardon . The president has pardoned political allies and Anyone pardoned by Mr. Trump would receive immunity from being charged with a federal crime over his or But she did not explain what transformed that principle into an unwritten legal limit on the power the

President Trump is continuing his pattern of abusing the pardon power, and it looks like it's getting worse.

First, a recap. What do Joe Arpaio, Scooter Libby, Jack Johnson and Dinesh D'Souza have in common? They are some of the people who have had their federal felony convictions pardoned by President Trump. Their pardons have something in common, too: They appear to have been given without much consideration, and in complete disregard of the usual process that applies to presidential pardons.

This is pardon by presidential whim.

As is often pointed out, the President has very broad pardon power pursuant to Article II of the Constitution. But the pardons the President has issued thus far demonstrate a capricious use of that power, because unlike other presidents before him, Trump has completely bypassed the Department of Justice Office of the Pardon Attorney.

Rod Blagojevich prison sentence commuted: What's next for the former Illinois governor after clemency

  Rod Blagojevich prison sentence commuted: What's next for the former Illinois governor after clemency Rod Blagojevich prison sentence commuted: What's next for the former Illinois governor after clemencyRELATED: Ex-Illinois governor gets prison break from Trump

Jennifer Rodgers writes that Trump 's pardon history has been problematic, but the President has gone beyond using the pardon power on his personal whim and is now using it for his personal protection. Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Michael Cohen, individuals charged by the Office of the Special

President Donald Trump mentioned his presidential pardoning powers and condemned Story highlights. This is not the first time the President has mentioned his pardoning powers . In his Saturday tweets, Trump also launched into criticism of the Russia probe, asking why Sessions and

The pardon office is set up to handle petitions for pardons, utilizing established procedures, standards and rules. By ignoring this, President Trump issued his pardons without the wealth of information that is usually available, and without the advice of the DOJ's career professionals, including the prosecutors and agents who investigated and prosecuted these crimes.

Some of the President's pardons rewarded Trump partisans like right-wing conspiracy theorist Dinesh D'Souza, and anti-immigrant former sheriff and early Trump campaigner Joe Arpaio. One pardon went to the deceased boxer Jack Johnson at the recommendation of actor Sylvester Stallone, who reportedly has attended functions at Mar-a-Lago and was reportedly considered for a White House appointment to the National Endowment for the Arts. And a sentence commutation went to Alice Marie Johnson at the behest of Kim Kardashian, whose husband, Kanye West, is a vociferous Trump supporter and MAGA hat wearer.

Editorial: Once again, Trump showers his mercy on corrupt officials and white-collar criminals. Who's next?

  Editorial: Once again, Trump showers his mercy on corrupt officials and white-collar criminals. Who's next? Not for the first time, President Trump has perverted the presidential pardon power to benefit undeserving recipients with whom he shares a personal or political affinity. On Tuesday, the White House announced that Trump had commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an epically corrupt politician who once appeared on Trump's reality TV series "Celebrity Apprentice," Not for the first time, President Trump has perverted the presidential pardon power to benefit undeserving recipients with whom he shares a personal or political affinity. On Tuesday, the White House announced that Trump had commuted the prison sentence of former Illinois Gov.

President Donald Trump asserted Monday that he has the right to pardon himself but suggested that he won't use that power , adding that the special counsel investigation is "unconstitutional.".

Trump pardoned former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. Move came amid speculation he will apply his presidential power to Roger Donald Trump is expected to commute the 14-year sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and pardon former New York City Police

The pattern is the same for the rest of the pardons given so far by this President: Those without either right-wing bona fides or the personal endorsement of a Trump-friendly celebrity need not apply.

As problematic as Trump's pardon history has been to date, however, we have entered a period of even greater danger, because the President has gone beyond using the pardon power on his personal whim, and is now using it for his personal protection.

The people who have been the subject of pardon talk, particularly Manafort, Michael Flynn and Cohen (before he publicly declared he was finished protecting the President) have some things in common, too. They are all individuals charged by the Office of the Special Counsel in investigations into wrongdoing by the President.

They all were in positions to have information that could implicate the President in crimes. (Cohen actually did testify that the President committed a crime.) And all have or had been the subject of rampant speculation -- fueled by the President's refusal to rule it out -- that they may receive pardons if they refuse to cooperate with authorities.

Inflatable Trump Rat, Supporters Greet Roger Stone Sentencing

  Inflatable Trump Rat, Supporters Greet Roger Stone Sentencing An inflatable rat with a Donald Trump hairdo, supporters eager for a presidential pardon and a long line of news reporters and spectators have gathered at a Washington court this morning for the sentencing of Roger Stone. © Bloomberg An inflatable rat with a Trump-like hairdo and clothes sits outside a federal courthouse in Washington on Thursday. Judge Amy Berman Jackson is scheduled to hand down one of the most closely watched sentences of the year, after the president tweeted last week that an initial recommendation by federal prosecutors of 7 to 9 years in prison for Stone was “unfair.

Frankly, you need go no farther to divine the President's motives than the fact that the Trump lawyer talking about pardons is Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani has said that Trump may use his pardon power after the Russia investigation is over.

Giuliani is not the pardon attorney, charged with handling pardon petitions, or even the White House counsel, whose job is to protect the institution of the presidency. Giuliani is Trump's personal lawyer. Why would the President's personal lawyer talk about pardons at all? Only one reason; because the President and his team view the presidential pardon power as a way to protect him personally from the serious and numerous investigations closing in on him.

Prosecutors rely on cooperating witnesses to make cases, particularly in complex conspiracy cases like those being handled by the special counsel. Cooperating witnesses are incentivized to provide truthful information and testimony through the possibility of sentencing reductions. If those who might be witnesses against Trump think that a pardon might be coming if they refuse to cooperate, that undercuts prosecutors' ability to make these cases.

And while pardons have not (yet) been issued for any of these men, much of the damage is already done. It started the moment the President refused to rule out pardons for anyone involved in any investigation implicating him because of the obvious conflict of interest that posed. The harm was greatly magnified each time the President attacked someone cooperating against him -- like by calling Michael Cohen a "rat" -- or praised Roger Stone as having "guts" for saying he would never testify against Trump.

We may never know how seriously the President's abuse of the pardon power has hurt these investigations, but we do know one thing. President Trump has turned the pardon power from a tool that a president should use disinterestedly to administer justice and compassion, to a shield, used with this President's personal interests front and center.

It's now up to prosecutors and Congress to do something about it.


Court won't let Trump pardon void guilty verdict against Arpaio .
But sheriff's lawyers declare victory over ruling that criminal contempt finding has 'no legal consequences.'The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that Arpaio is not entitled to have the guilty verdict on a misdemeanor contempt-of-court charge vacated because it has no legal significance in the wake of Trump's pardon.

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