The coronavirus is raging across America.
Trump remains silent about it, abdicating his responsibility for the health, safety, and well being of Americans while derailing congressional legislation and COVID relief measures as he flies off to Florida for the holidays.
But the outgoing president did find the time between promoting voter fraud conspiracies and seditious actions to pardon war criminals and everyone convicted in Robert Muller's special council investigation of RussiaGate.
On MSNBC Wednesday night, Andrew Weissmann, the former senior member of special counsel Robert Mueller's team and former head of the criminal fraud section at the justice department who prosecuted Manafort explained to Rachel Maddow that the Russiagate coverup was completed with Trump's latest round of pardons.
Weissmann said, "I think what you're seeing, whether it's the pardon of Paul Manafort or many others that we saw today and yesterday, this is what you get if you give the pardon power to a mob boss."
That includes Roger Stone and the seditious Michael Flynn who were convicted for either lying to the federal investigators, reneged on plea deals or refused to speak about their dealings with Russia and Trump's role in it in election interference in 2016.
It's hard to convict a narcissistic mafioso-like boss if those involved refuse to give evidence against that person. The co-conspirators understand they will be rewarded with a presidential pardon if they cooperate.
It didn't help that Don Jr., and Trump Sr., weren't subpoenaed or forced to testify under oath.
Let us not forget that it was the firing of FBI Director James Comey by Donald Trump that triggered Andrew McCabe to set up a special counsel to investigate him.
“I was speaking to the man who had just run for the presidency and won the election for the presidency and who might have done so with the aid of the government of Russia, our most formidable adversary on the world stage. And that was something that troubled me greatly,” said McCabe.
John Gotti couldn't stop Salvatore Gravano (“Sammy the Bull”) from flipping on him because the Teflon Don did not have the power to pardon his crimes so he went to prison.
Donald Trump does have the pardon power and he rewarded his collaborators accordingly to protect himself.
When Special Counsel Robert Mueller tried to look into the details of the ties between Manafort’s Russian clients and the Russian hackers who were aiding the Trump campaign, they were stymied by his lies, his use of “sophisticated communications security practices,” and his foreign business partners’ lack of cooperation.
Later, when Manafort cut a plea deal with the government, he promised to testify “fully, completely, and truthfully” about his actions—but he then breached that plea, repeatedly being caught in lies including about his communications with Russian intelligence during the campaign.
During a deposition with the FBI, Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates admitted that this was of course intentional on Manafort’s part. That his plan was to block the truth from coming out, stay loyal to Trump, and wait for a pardon. “Sit tight,” Manafort apparently said. “We’ll be taken care of.”
Any person that calls "RussiaGate" a hoax you know is either uninformed, QAnon'd, stupid, or profusely lying.
New legislation needs to handle the presidential pardon power since Trump abused it so thoroughly. No president should be allowed to pardon those in his administration that commit crimes, especially crimes related to the governing of our country.
When Bill Barr had George H. Bush pardon those set to testify during Iran-Contra, which ended the entire investigations, something in Congress should have been done immediately.
Now we see what a megalomaniacal person can do with such powers.