Preemptive Strikeout: Trump’s Pardon Plans and WTF Is Next
On this episode of democracy-ish, Toure is back and, as he notes, “the business of being President Trump continues apace.”
Apparently, Trump has discussed pardoning himself, and his children, with advisors (who most likely haven’t shut that idea down). And the DOJ is investigating a bribery scheme … coming from inside the People’s House.
Meanwhile, Trump continues to raise hundreds of millions from his supporters –– for … an attempted coup? Or to pay off his debts?
Journalists have spilled oceans of ink over the last four years investigating the fears and grievances of the Trump voter. We’re waaay over it and moving on to some new reading material: Barack Obama’s just-released memoir.
As we enter the waning days of the Trump banana republic, there’s plenty of craziness happening across our great land (pandemic, mysterious monoliths, et cetera) –– “although I feel like the dial on the volume of the crazy's turning down,” says Toure.
Trump keeps trying to dial it up to 11, though. He has apparently discussed preemptive pardons for his three eldest children, even though they haven't been charged with any crimes… yet.
Plus, the Department of Justice is investigating whether someone in the White House was at least trying to sell pardons in exchange for political contributions.
The partially redacted U.S. District Court opinion, unsealed earlier this week, refers to a DOJ probe of a “bribery conspiracy,” although nobody has been charged … yet.
“If you genuinely haven't committed a crime, you’d just let them file frivolous lawsuits because they won’t stick,” Danielle notes, likening the concept of Trump’s preemptive pardons to taking the fifth on the witness stand.
It does suggest “you f***king did something,” she adds.
Wasn’t it just last year the non-lawyers among us all learned the meaning of quid pro quo? Turns out, we still have a lot to learn about the perils that can befall our young democracy.
Episode Highlights –– Pardon Me???
But … her emails!
Every time Danielle sees a headline about Trump’s past or future pardons, she thinks about Hillary Clinton testifying for 11 hours before Congress in multiple hearings on the Benghazi tragedy.
“Republicans thought they were going to catch her in some type of scheme to kill Americans,” she says. “Then they were going to look through her emails and figure out she really is the devil incarnate.”
Clinton’s response? Have at it.
Why? “Because she didn't do anything fucking wrong,” Danielle notes.
Compare that to Trump’s reported musings (and Sean Hannity’s on-air advice to an audience of one) about the president pardoning himself and his family –– purportedly because Democrats are so vindictive.
“I wish Democrats were fucking vindictive,” she adds.
“We're not,” Toure agrees. “We're not going to have the Trump trials. We're not going to string up Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon and all these people. Yes, the Justice Department has gone after Manafort and Cohen and others, but they aren’t Democratic attacks the same way Benghazi was an ongoing political attack.”
Grab ‘em by the wallet
Republicans are definitely not going to back any DOJ moves toward prosecution of Trump or his cronies, Toure argues.
“I wonder how so many of them can stand up without spines. But we are seeing some really interesting cracks in their armor” –– like Gabriel Sterling in Georgia, who put Trump (and the GOP) on blast for their silence regarding violent threats against election officials who certified Biden’s win.
“It is the height of cognitive dissonance. The President has virtually conceded in terms of allowing the transition to go forward. And yet he continues to tweet and talk about conspiracies that don't exist, electoral fraud that's not real. He committed electoral fraud. He cheated and still lost.”
And he lost over 40 times in court, too. But Rudy Giuliani continues to claim there are mountains of evidence to support Trump’s bogus victory. Why?
“Because it's not about winning,” Danielle argues. “It stopped being about winning days after the election, when they realized they had no path. It’s about the money-fuckin’-grab.”