Someone needs to remind Trump lickspittles Matt Gaetz and Sean Hannity that accepting pardons also means an admission of guilt. Following the news that Trump has been considering giving blanket pardons to members of his family, Rudy Giuliani and even himself, Hannity doubled down on his television show on Fox Tuesday night and urged Trump to do just that.
On Tuesday night, in a panel with strident pro-Trump supporters Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Fox commentator Greg Jarrett, Hannity reiterated his public call from the day before. During his Monday radio show, Hannity had unabashedly encouraged Trump to self-pardon himself and also pardon untold numbers of his family before leaving office next month.
Just as he had on Monday, Hannity singled out former Mueller probe deputy Andrew Weissman in his rationale for short circuiting the rule of law, pointing to recent comments by Weissman urging Biden’s as-yet-unnamed attorney general to not shy away from investigation and prosecuting Trump for misconduct while in office, saying his “criminal exposure is clear.”
“Three years he was Robert Mueller’s pitbull. Didn’t get the result he wanted. Now he’s saying that if Biden becomes president, as an AG, he wants Trump investigated in perpetuity,” Hannity said. “If this is the threat they’re going to make to a guy leaving office perhaps one day, my question is, why wouldn’t he just pardon himself and his family on the way out the door? Because I think it would be right to do so, because these people are nuts.”
Gaetz quickly upped the ante even further, calling on Trump to issue pardons for almost everyone who ever worked for him in government — as well as random supporters.
“The president should pardon himself, his family, his administration officials, and if his supporters who have been targeted,” Gaetz proclaimed, before expressing his disappointment at the belated news of John Durham’s status as special counsel.
As we already discussed here, that's not going to save Trump or the rest of them from state charges, and Cuomo just signed a law in October closing the loophole that may have helped them avoid facing charges in New York.
And as ABC recently reported, "Trump's loss in the 2020 election could serve to significantly complicate his efforts to fight off a host of lawsuits and investigations into himself and his company, forcing him to shed what has been one of his most effective legal shields for the past four years, according to legal experts."
While Trump certainly hasn't escaped legal scrutiny during his time in office, his attorneys, in their efforts to delay or derail various investigations and cases, have repeatedly tried to claim the office of the presidency essentially granted him immunity. In several cases, the Justice Department has intervened on Trump's behalf, throwing its legal firepower behind his personal defense attorneys.
Upon departing office on Jan. 20, Trump would have to shift that strategy as he faces the new reality of managing his defenses as a private citizen, both with respect to pending civil cases, as well as investigations which could have both civil and criminal implications.
No more hiding behind the office of the presidency and pretending he's actually doing something besides watching Fox and rage-tweeting all day.