CAO scale of justice. Photo By St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office

Today is President Biden’s big day. Former President Trump has made a fairly transparent attempt to steal the limelight. Were I a Democrat, I’d probably be incensed. Instead, I’m not a particular fan of Biden and am likely to be writing about my disagreements with his policy when I discuss him; I’m perfectly happy to set that aside for the sake of common decency on his day of celebration. I will focus my attention on giving Trump what he deserves, a final kick on his way out of his polluted White House.

While there are many stories this morning about the people who were pardoned, I don’t particularly care about them. Yes, Bannon was given a pardon, and so was Paul Erickson, and Elliott Broidy, and others who were deeply tied to Trump’s corruption. For the most part, I must admit that I was pleased by the names in the pardon and commutation lists. Trump’s regard for his fellow human beings is low… his inaction on COVID-19 demonstrates that, even before addressing his history of fraud and sexual abuse charges… and I’d have been unsurprised to see the list comprised exclusively of those who were at risk of exposing his crimes if they weren’t pardoned and those who were able to provide payoffs to his companies. Those groups were represented, but a large percentage of the people named were examples of the standard type of pardons which are dispensed by Presidents and Governors.

Instead of focusing on the crimes of the people named in the wee hours of this morning, then, I want to address three other issues.

First, the pardons of Stone, Manafort, Kelly and others. By releasing those names early amidst the effort to overturn the election, Trump encourages people to forget that they were among the people released. I believe this is a mistake. When their names are added to this morning’s pardon and commutation list, the magnitude of abuse of the pardon power becomes clear, as does the suggestion of action taken in favor of Russia. The scandal of their pardons was lost amidst the Georgia election and the invasion of the Capitol. It deserves to be remembered.

Second, the conspicuous lack of pardons for Trump and his entire family. While the appearance of guilt was obviously heavy in his mind, I believe Trump did not pardon himself for a simple reason: he doesn’t believe he’ll ever be found guilty of anything. This is a man who has spent his entire life getting what he wanted without earning it and independent of the law. He no doubt believes that he cannot be convicted no matter how obvious he evidence, and likely extends that view to his family because they share his genes.

Third, the conspicuous lack of pardons for any of the participants in the insurrection two weeks ago. Many of these people were successful people in their 40s, 50s and 60s who had built families, contributed to their communities, served in the armed forces and started businesses prior to their involvement in QAnon or radicalization via Trump-friendly media. If Trump was working for them, if he was a leader of flyover country, he would take the political hit and pardon some of them who were contrite. Instead he demonstrated the opposite: that the rioters were not people to him, they were tools to be used and discarded. This is, of course, unsurprising to anyone who’s paid the slightest attention to who Trump is and how he’s spent his life. Many of his most fervent supporters are undoubtedly surprised today, and some of them may reasonably expect to spend up to two decades – much of the remainder of their lives – in federal prison. I find it impossible to pity them.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.