As we enter the final days of the Trump presidency we should expect the administration’s corruption to escalate rather than taper off. Now that he and his cronies know they won’t have another four years to pillage the public coffers and indulge in their worst kleptocratic tendencies they’ll be racing to pack in as much as wrongdoing as possible before the end.
Yesterday, Axios reported that the president is considering a series of pardons including one for his disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, a convicted criminal who was found guilty of lying to the FBI during the Russia investigation. If executed, the pardon of Flynn and other criminals would serve as a final middle finger to our justice system and incite Trump’s base, perhaps in anticipation of a 2024 run. Donald Trump has never respected our laws and now that he’s lost the election he’s lost any incentive to even pretend otherwise.
Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of Trump’s most formidable enemies over the past four years and a staunch defender of our democracy, slammed the president’s pardon plan during an appearance on CNN’s New Day.
“It just, frankly, reflects so ill on our democracy, on the United States. Imagine what people around the world think when we have a president who’s acting like an organized crime figure,” said Schiff. “But this is who Donald Trump is. It’s who he was on the way into the presidency. It will be exactly who he is on his last days of the presidency,” he added.
“You don’t dispute that he has the absolute power and authority to pardon though do you?” asked host John Berman.
“Well, it’s not absolute. With respect to Mike Flynn, he may have the power to provide a pardon assuming that it’s not on the basis of some illicit quid pro quo,” explained Schiff. “But nonetheless he can’t pardon himself in my view with a legal effect. He can try but I don’t think it would hold up in court if ultimately there was a case brought against him. And there are other limitations.”
It remains to be seen whether or not Trump will follow through with his scheme but given what we know about this man it seems likely. It’s detestable yet fitting that his final acts as president would be the same as most acts he committed throughout his tenure: crooked beyond measure.
President Trump is “acting like an organized crime figure,” @RepAdamSchiff says about a possible pardon for Michael Flynn.
“But this is who Donald Trump is. It's who he was on the way into the presidency. It will be exactly who he is on his last days of the presidency.” pic.twitter.com/ULtD5pBHFG
— New Day (@NewDay) November 25, 2020