Trump's pardoning "with a wave of his regal hand" Rod Blogojevich and Michael Milken is just him trying to get us ready for the more outrageous pardons to come.
February 19, 2020

Former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner joined Ari Melber's The Beat to express his deep outrage over Trump's abuse of the pardon power. Normally pardons are a privilege not exerted until the end of one's presidency.
Trump of course, is breaking all the rules for funsies and to send the corrupt message that he is above the law. Yesterday, he pardoned convicted Senate seat peddler Rod Blagojevich, and "Junk Bond King" Michael Milken among others.

Melber asked Kirschner if Trump is attempting to rewrite history with these pardons, or is he trying to reframe behavior like corruption, bribery, and abuse of power as 'not such a bad thing to begin with'? Is this more of his attempting to numb us to egregious abuse of power? Kirschner seems to lean towards Door #2.

KIRSCHNER: That may be part of what is motivating him. But, you know, I really see this as a softening of the ground to prepare the American people for, I don’t want to stay more consequential pardons to come, but the ones that more directly aid the president himself, because if he pardons or commutes the sentences of Roger Stone, of Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, that is nothing but a presidential cover-up plain and simple.

What I will say is that prosecutors, kind of famously, are anti-pardon. Because, you know, we do pour a lot of time and energy, and we pour our hearts into public corruption prosecutions, in particular. Because it's our job to hold government officials accountable when they violate the public trust. Heck, we’re protecting the American people. But it's not just the prosecutors who he apparently is seeking to punish in some instances. You have FBI agents who pour their hearts and souls into these cases. Witnesses, victims, paralegals, judges, jurors, the whole system pulls together to hold governmental wrongdoers accountable. And Trump just, with a wave of his regal hand, does away with all of it. Which is a slap in the face to, really, all law-abiding Americans.

With this "softening of the ground," as Kirschner so eloquently paints it, no one should be shocked when, at the moment Judge Amy Berman Jackson hands down her sentence of Roger Stone tomorrow, Trump tweets his outrage and hands his pal a Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card.

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