Yesterday, December 23, day two of pardonpalooza, saw 26 more full pardons and three individual sentences that were fully or partially commuted. That followed Tuesday’s warm-up exercise when Trump issued 15 pardons and five commutations.
Three notable pardons on day two were Paul Manafort, Charles Kushner, and Roger Stone.
Seeing Paul Manafort pardoned was particularly maddening because he was the big fish Mueller reeled in. His indictment was the only satisfying result of that disappointment.
Manafort was Trump’s campaign chairman, working pro bono— someone was paying him. He was $10 million in debt to Oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The name probably sounds familiar not only because he’s a friend of Putin’s, but because he owns Moscow Mitch McConnell. His promise of a Kentucky aluminum-mill, in exchange for dropped sanctions, did not become a reality. Deripaska’s sanctions were still dropped.
Manafort was in direct contact with Russian intelligence, giving them campaign polling data; he arranged private briefings and worked together with Russia to coordinate the efforts that resulted in Trump’s “win” in 2016.
Manafort had the testicular tenacity to tamper (alliteration is my favorite,) with and intimidate witnesses from his jail cell. He blazed the trail that led to the Ukraine scapegoat for Russia’s dirty work.
Let’s look for the rainbow, shall we? All is not lost. The New York Attorney General has indictments ready and waiting for Manafort on state charges. If he doesn’t go into hiding he’ll go back to prison. And, once pardoned Manafort loses his right to plead the fifth and is required to comply with FBI counterintelligence. If he lies to them he has committed a new crime.
Legal analyst- pshhh… what a jerk. ☝🏼
Back to the rainbow- If you don’t already love New York Governor Cuomo, 😍 you will when his work pays off. Last year he signed a bill closing a double jeopardy “pardon loophole,” that would have protected Manafort from being tried by the state for the same crime he was tried for federally.
(Burgess Merrideth, the penguin from ‘Batman and Robin’ is Stone’s doppelganger.)
All I can say is that he should get life in prison for that photo-bomb display alone, ewe. ☝️🏼
Moving on, Charles Kushner completed his sentence in 2006. Why would he take a pardon now, knowing it would put his crimes back in the news?
Pardon me for doing just that. Charles Kushner, a real estate executive who spawned Jared, was under investigation for financial crimes. When he found out his brother-in-law was cooperating with federal authorities, he wanted revenge. What choice did Charlie Kushner have but to hire a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, record the encounter, and then send the recording to his sister? There but by the grace of God… Wait. Who does that? These Trumps and Kushners are pigs.
Anyway, C. Kushner went to prison for tax evasion, put there by Chris (close the beaches so my family can have a private July 4 holiday,) Christie. – long middle name.
So why dredge it up again? What Does a Pardon Do?
I’m not an attorney, so I will freely admit that what I’ve read while trying to decipher this has not given me an answer because there are exceptions and interpretations for every age, weight, and height on a carnival barker’s cheat sheet. Trump is setting the precedent here, doing what hasn’t been done. If he is allowed to pardon crimes that he is implicated in, it becomes acceptable in future presidents. I understand that much.
My search results via a combo-platter of an ambulance-chasing lawyer’s website, and Wikipedia:
A pardon doesn’t restore innocence. Pardons generally don’t expunge convictions. But, they will usually restore civil rights lost as a result of the conviction.
Specifically, pardons will generally restore:
• the right to vote
• the right to run for, and hold, public office
• the right to serve on a jury, and
• the right to possess firearms.
It’s always about guns and politics, isn’t it?
This couldn’t be vaguer.👇🏼(Vaguer is a valid Scrabble word.)
Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution designates the President as the only person with the power to grant pardons and reprieves for federal crimes. The Constitution prohibits the President from pardoning impeached officials (but he can issue pardons for the crimes that led to the impeachment). All applications for a presidential pardon must be submitted through and reviewed by, the Department of Justice. According to the department’s rules for clemency petitions, no one may apply for a pardon until five years after release from prison.
What fresh Hell is this? 👇🏻(I know I overuse the phrase. 🙄)
Oh, Scarlet, it is tomorrow, another day, but I think yesterday will prove to have been better.
Who will be pardoned today?