Ari Melber did a deep dive into the possible motivations for Donald Trump's totally random pardon of Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff. What were Libby's crimes? Perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI. Gosh, that sounds a lot like what Michael Flynn and Rick Gates pleaded to - so far.
So is this a flashing red sign for any Mueller witnesses? Even if you lie, obstruct justice and commit perjury, I got your back? This is what Ari's panel discussed. David Corn and Jack Quinn joined The Beat to talk about this very topic.
QUINN: Well, yeah, look. The obvious question is the one you asked. Is this a dog whistle? Is this a signal to people that, you know, obstruction of justice, perjury, making false statements during the course of an investigation are things which there are times when the president -- well, dog whistles are subtle.
CORN: It's a cannon shot.
MELBER: Dog whistles are subtle. This is more like saying, where are my dogs at, and are they going to stay loyal to me because I'm in the middle of a Russian probe. I'm freaking out over Michael Cohen. I'm freaking out over Bob Mueller. The interview may not happen. And now on today, Friday of all days, as Rod Rosenstein tells people he's prepared to get fired, we get this out of the blue pardon that he never cared about.
QUINN: Vicki is Scooter's lawyer.
MELBER: Is this a problem, Jack?
QUINN: It's a small town.
MELBER: Is this a problem?
QUINN: Is it a problem for the president? You know -- for America. Problem.
MELBER: David, your view?
CORN: Yeah, I think it's a big deal. I think it's a very important deal. The president did not make a case about why this obstruction of justice and lying conviction should be overturned. The statement he gave was, I heard something bad about this case. He seems to be more motivated by the symbolic nature of this. I'm going to protect somebody.
QUINN: Let me just -- I will say that on the other side, you know, you had an important witness in the case who recanted her testimony.
MELBER: Oh, but, Jack, I covered that case -- hold on. Hold on. I'm going to take over. Jack, i'm going to take over. It's what I do because I host the show.
QUINN: It's your show.
MELBER: The issue is not relitigating the case. Scooter Libby never did a day. He never did a day in jail, and you know -- hold on. You'll get to go after me. You know as White House counsel that there are people all over this country locked up for way longer for way less. He already got commuted. Today, out of the blue, in the middle of the probe, the president pardons him on top of that. The commutation wasn't enough? You don't see a road to Russia here?
QUINN: I didn't try to justify it. I thought it was important to mention that. I told you before this whole thing started, I thought it was a problem.
MELBER: And I -- okay. We're out of time. David, briefly.
CORN: I was on the trial. The case against Scooter Libby was a slam dunk case. So this has nothing to do about justice.
MELBER: I think we are looking at a normalizing of pardoning of obstruction of justice. It is a big thing happening tonight. And more important than the twitter. Jack Quinn and David Corn, both experts on these issues. I really appreciate you joining us.
Ari nailed it. This has nothing to with Scooter Libby. Trump has no idea who he is and he honestly doesn't care. He is trying to prime the MAGA idiots to accept that this is common practice - the pardon former WH aides for lying to the FBI because it isn't that big of a deal. Will it work? Time has shown that MAGA Trump cultists believe anything their Dear Leader tells them, regardless of what their previous views may have been.