Presidential pardons have fallen under renewed scrutiny. Critics contend that President Trump is helping friends and fellow conservatives. He pardoned Sheriff Joe Arpaio following his conviction at the hand of a liberal federal judge. Trump also pardoned Kristian Saucier, convicted of federal crimes for taking photos in a submarine. Ultimately, the public is hearing heavy condemnation about these pardons only because of the media’s deranged anti-Trump hatred. Perhaps Trump should issue a blanket pardon for press agents like Jim Acosta, Rachel Maddow, and their illiberal ilk. They have engaged in massive corporate fraud and deception for decades.
Trump’s latest pardon to invite press/establishment calumny features Irving Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney and then assistant to President George W. Bush.
Libby’s nefarious crimes?
Obstruction of justice, perjury, giving false statement, and much of a result of overzealous prosecution, all of it connected to leaks over former CIA Agent Valerie Plame. Is President Trump going too far with his pardons? Should the presidency still retain the power to pardon? Founding Father Alexander Hamilton had argued for this provision in order to secure the peace among competing combatants following domestic insurrections. The Framers were prescient beyond their years. Toward the end of the Civil War, President Lincoln intended to issue full pardons to every Confederate soldier who would repledge allegiance to the United States. “What is the best way to defeat an enemy? Make him your friend.”
His successor, Democrat Andrew Johnson, issued a blanket pardon on Christmas Day 1868, despite (or perhaps because of) the animus between Executive Branch and the “Radical” Republican Congress.Pardons can also combat new, growing problems: Deep State corruption, overzealous prosecution, and judicial activism. In the case of Sheriff Joe, the Arizona District court order was unconstitutional. In his trial, he was not permitted a jury!
Someone tell me how any of that is legal. Judicial tyranny is a threat to our Republic, and presidential pardons are essential to chipping away at the dictatorship of the bench. As for overzealous prosecution … Mueller and company are on a witch hunt, wasting millions to look for crimes. Trump pardoned Libby to signal how he will scuttle upcoming prosecutorial abuses. That’s a good thing.
As for deep state corruption, one criminal case comes to mind for which Trump needs to issue a pardon: Dinesh D’Souza.
The case may have faded from public memory, so here’s a brief recap. In 2014, the young conservative writer and speaker was arraigned in a Manhattan federal court for a $20,000 campaign violation, as he had exceeding arbitrary limits. How? After reaching his own limit, D’Souza asked a friend to donate to a friend, then D’Souza paid back his friend.
Honestly, why is this a crime to begin with? This case highlights how criminal law has lost its basis in mens rea, or criminal intent. People are going to jail for breaking laws they know nothing about!
On top of that, this case showcased the aggressive, selective enforcement of the Obama Administration and his coven of left-wing U.S. attorneys. Other people had skirted campaign finance laws and spent more money, but they got a slap on the wrist and paid a fine.
D’Souza was prosecuted in a very public manner, then convicted of a felony. His otherwise liberal attorney was flabbergasted at the outrageous conduct of the federal judge presiding over the case. There was no reason for D’Souza to be sent up the river like that. None.
Four years later, Congressional investigations have discovered a criminal dossier on D’Souza, which included special directions for the FBI to go after him because he was a frequent critic of the president. D’Souza’s conviction and confinement in a halfway house had their benefits. He found time and resources to report on the replete corruption of the Democratic Party, their determination to “steal America.” In spite of the attempted moral stain of a felony, the polished and erudite conservative intellect has not stayed from the political and academic fray. In fact, the unjust trial and conviction gave the former Reagan adviser more street cred.
Still, it’s absolutely ridiculous that he was damned so arbitrarily for something so minor, and the political machinations behind should horrify all of us. This power play by the Obama Administration showcases another example of overzealous persecution and the weaponization of the federal judiciary. These abuses must be confronted, condemned, and closed down.
Trump can accomplish all of these goals with a fully justifiable pardon for Dinesh D’Souza. After all, former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards faced unconscionable indictments for purported campaign finance crimes, but was acquitted. The most outspoken conservatives recognized that the trial was heavy-handed in that case.
It certainly was for Dinesh. Pardon me, Mr. Trump, but you need to pardon Dinesh D’Souza!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.