Republican Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse took issue with President Donald Trump’s most recent pardons Wednesday.
“This is rotten to the core,” Sasse said of the 26 pardons Trump issued on Dec. 23 — including clemency for Roger Stone, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Charles Kushner. (RELATED: Ben Sasse Accuses Biden Of Refusing To Address The ‘Suicide Bombing Of Two Branches Of Government’)
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) December 24, 2020
Sasse was not the only one to take issue with Wednesday’s pardons — which came just a day after another slate of pardons for several Trump allies including George Papadopoulos.
During the Mueller investigation, Trump’s lawyer floated a pardon to Manafort.
Manafort withdrew his cooperation with prosecutors, lied, was convicted, and then Trump praised him for not “ratting.”
Trump’s pardon now completes the corrupt scheme.
Lawless until the bitter end.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 24, 2020
Why isn’t there more discussion of how the presidential pardon power is obviously a bad idea
— Rosie Gray (@RosieGray) December 24, 2020
I’m a big believer in pardon power as I have seen how much good it can do.
But I believe there is a case to be made to not allow any pardons or commutations between Election Day and January 20.
If someone deserves a pardon, do it before an election. https://t.co/0aWvczrY1y
— Yashar Ali ???? (@yashar) December 24, 2020
If you voted to pardon Trump of impeachment, spare all of us your hot take on Trump corruptly pardoning his friends.
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) December 24, 2020
Anyone telling you that we’ve seen pardons of this sort before—and therefore we can be sure of their legality under the Constitution—is blowing smoke. These pardons are a matter of first impression for our courts. My view and the view of many is that they should be ruled illegal.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 24, 2020
These pardons shock the conscience.
To the investigators and prosecutors who defended the US and pursued justice, securing dozens of convictions, only to have your efforts corruptly erased and investigated:
You are patriots. America is fortunate to have you and your service. https://t.co/cljWHrqLSd
— Peter Strzok (@petestrzok) December 24, 2020
Every significant Mueller defendant who refused to cooperate (or started but then stopped) has now been pardoned.
Only Rick Gates and Michael Cohen – both of whom testified publicly, in court or Congress – have not been pardoned.
This math isn’t hard to do.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) December 24, 2020
Paul Manafort is the last person who should get a pardon. He cheated on his taxes. He does not deserve a pardon. (Not do GOP members of Congress who broke the law.).
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 24, 2020
A pardon is supposed to be an instrument of justice—not a tool of corruption.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 24, 2020
Some, like Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, argued that the real problem was that the pardons had gone to Trump’s allies rather than to people they believed were more deserving.
A flow of pardons for the wealthy and corrupt, yet Brandon Bernard was left to die when his own jurors and prosecutor begged for mercy.
Our carceral system laid bare for the world to see. https://t.co/vzbzKuwGg1
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 24, 2020
Put aside the corruption & sleaziness of these pardons for a moment, & just think about how many nonviolent, maybe wrongly-convicted, much more deserving prisoners behind bars tonight could have been *pardoned* by this president if he actually gave a damn about anyone but himself
— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) December 24, 2020
The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles argued that, while Manafort and Stone were not blameless, their prosecution was not pursuant to any crime other than being close to Trump.
“Trump was absolutely right to pardon Manafort and Stone. They, like all political operatives, have no doubt been involved in shady business deals. But everyone knows the real crime for which they were prosecuted was having had the audacity to work for the bad orange man,” Knowles tweeted.
Trump was absolutely right to pardon Manafort and Stone. They, like all political operatives, have no doubt been involved in shady business deals. But everyone knows the real crime for which they were prosecuted was having had the audacity to work for the bad orange man.
— One-Horse Pony Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) December 24, 2020