This week Donald Trump pardoned Alice Johnson, a woman who served twenty years in jail for a first offense. Johnson’s story comes from an era in the 1990’s, where the White House was particularly hard on drug offenders, especially minorities. (It’s interesting to note that Johnson’s advocates petitioned Obama for a pardon, but he denied it. We can just leave that there.)
Trump’s pardon comes on the heels of various high-profile pardoning’s in recent months. Much like everything else Trump does, the left has been particularly vocal about who the president is pardoning. They add it to an ever-growing list of grievances perpetrated by a man they seem to believe is intentionally trying to hurt their feelings.
Has there been anything Trump’s done that hasn’t upset the left? I mean, sure, you disagree on politics, but their rabid hate over every little Trumpism is getting ridiculous. That’s especially true in regards to presidential pardons.
The media, too might not have much to say about Trump pardoning a grandma stuck in prison. Even for them, that might be cruel. But that didn’t stop them from belittling the summit that led to this act of compassion. They slammed both the president and Kim Kardashian. Unlike most vapid celebrities, Kim is using her fame to do some incredibly kind-hearted. Still, we were given this:
Stay classy, New York Post. Geez, and they wonder why print news is dead?
Many have taken exception to the kind of people Trump has pardoned. That includes Dinesh D’Souza. He was convicted of campaign-finance violations. Okay, that’s bad. It’s a crime after all, and punishment is unavoidable. Yet it’s hard to separate the fact that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara—an Obama flunky—was the one who threw the book at D’Souza. This, after the filmmaker roasted Democrats.
Really hard to ignore the conflict of interest.
To the Washington Post editorial board, President Trump’s use of the pardon is “another show of disrespect for the justice system.” Outspoken D’Souza was the subject of a highly politicized prosecution by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (now an anti-Trump #Resistance leader) over campaign-finance violations totaling $20,000. The WaPo punditocracy grudgingly admits that the president “has constitutional power to do this” and that it is “Mr. Trump’s prerogative” to pardon individuals the newspaper considers “unsavory.” (National Review)
Then there’s Joe Arpaio. The former sheriff was convicted of criminal contempt. He was accused of racial profiling in his department’s immigration enforcement operations. The lynch-pin of the case against him was his own statements, which seemed to prove he was willfully breaking the law. A complicated mess to be sure. And an old-guard like Arpaio—who came down hard of illegal immigration—is certainly hated among liberals.
Naturally, figures like this getting pardoned will raise the dander of Trump’s rivals. But let’s be honest—can any pardoning not be controversial? These are people who were convicted of crimes. Unlike in the rare case of wrongful conviction, they are guilty of what they did. When a president pardons them—effectively wiping the slate clean—he’s giving a law-breaker a second chance. There will always be people upset about it.
Take Obama’s pardoning of Chelsea Manning. Manning was convicted of leaking classified military secrets to Wikileaks. That’s called treason. Instead of being executed, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning deserved it. After all, she handed over classified intel—intel that could jeopardize our national security—to Wikileaks. An organization that’s not so much interested in democracy, as they are sowing chaos around the world.
Why did Obama commute Manning’s sentence? Could it be because she’s a transgender woman? The man, now a woman, broke the law. Worse still, she betrayed her country and military. Obama had very little reason to give her a break, unless of course, he wanted to impress the LGBT community (although I doubt many transgenders are happy to embrace a traitor).
Maybe that wasn’t Obama’s intention, but we can’t help but consider it as a possibility.
Then there was Bubba. Bill Clinton had a penchant for pardoning people—not because it was the right thing to do—but because they were donors or buddies.
Democrats have long wielded pardon powers to reward deep-pocketed cronies, absolve unrepentant domestic terrorists, and lionize national-security leakers. The “democratic values” that WaPo-lemicists claim are now under siege thanks to Trump’s pardons got crushed under the wheels of the corruptocrat bus a long, long time ago.
Self-dealing Bill Clinton handed out pardons and commutations like Pez candy to relatives like half-brother Roger Clinton (convicted of cocaine possession) and family-tied associates like his brother-in-law Hugh Rodham’s clients, including convicted cocaine distributor Carlos Vignali and convicted herbal supplement fraudster and perjurer A. Glenn Braswell; the two felons had forked over $400,000 to Rodham in legal fees to win their clemencies. (National Review)
Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony was able to get Bill to pardon a couple convicted of bank fraud—who supplied him with over $240,000. That’s only the tip of the iceberg. It’s clear that Bill Clinton had no problem pardoning felons convicted of serious crimes—if they were connected to him in some way.
Would you pardon your brother, even if he was convicted of drug possession? Probably, unless you really hate your brother. What good is being president, anyway?
Oh? You say that the presidency shouldn’t be used to help out family? That perhaps that’s a form of nepotism and abuse? Many currently fuming at Trump seem to forget that Clinton did that.
Stay consistent, folks.
On August 11, 1999, Clinton commuted the sentences of 16 members of FALN, which is a Puerto Rican paramilitary organization that set off 120 bombs in the United States, mostly in New York City and Chicago. There were convictions for conspiracy to commit robbery, bomb-making, and sedition, as well as firearms and explosives violations. (Wikipedia)
I mean, wow. Bomb-making and sedition? Sounds a lot like acts of terror. In fact, Congress was so shocked by Clinton’s actions, that they condemned the act by voting 95-2 in Senate and 311-41 in the House. Pretty big margins. Yet they couldn’t overturn what he did; he was president after all.
Clinton justified the action by pointing to a group effort to save the criminals. Ten Nobel Laureates and the Archbishop of Puerto Rico campaigned to set the terrorists free. Oh, I guess that’s more important than our justice system, I guess. If a Nobel Laureate asks you to do anything, you have to comply.
Still, he had his reasons. You might not like it, but the president has that authority. Considering the pardons Clinton gave out, Trump is being incredibly reserved.
Now there’s something we don’t say every day!