Talking to reporters today, President Trump suggested that more pardons might be in the works:
President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s considering commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption, and pardoning lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart, who served a stint in federal prison after being convicted of charges related to a stock sale.
Blagojevich, who was convicted on numerous counts of corruption, including for trying to sell Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat, began serving a 14-year prison sentence in 2012. He is scheduled for release in 2024.
“What he did does not justify 18 years in jail,” Trump said. “If you read his statement, it was a foolish statement with a lot of bravado. Plenty of other politicians have said a lot worse. He’s a Democrat, he’s not in my party, but I thought he got treated unfairly.”
Stewart was convicted in 2004 of obstructing justice and lying to the government about why she unloaded stock just before the price plummeted. She served five months in prison. Her representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“I think to a certain extent Martha Stewart was harshly and unfairly treated. She used to be my biggest fan in the world,” Trump said.
I don’t mind seeing Blago rot in jail, but I thought at the time that Stewart got a raw deal–perhaps because she good poor legal advice, or more likely got good advice but didn’t follow it. Stewart might have been a Trump fan, but she is a Democrat like Blagojevich.
There could be a personal element in play here:
The federal prosecutor who oversaw Stewart’s case in New York was James Comey, one of Trump’s principal antagonists and the man he fired as FBI director last year. The prosecutor who led the case against Blagojevich in Chicago was Patrick Fitzgerald, a Comey friend who is also his lawyer.
Perhaps more pardons of Democrats could be in store. A friend writes:
[M]ark my words. Trump will later this year make a show of national unity. He will talk on TV about all the egregious Obama violations of law while also recounting the witch hunt, but say we need to move on.
And then in a a bit of unrivaled political theater he will pardon Obama et al on TV. He will appear magnanimous to most Americans while forever tagging Obama as a criminal alongside only Nixon and Watergate.
This story here is just the warmup act.
The meltdown on the left will be beyond epic. Not enough popcorn in the world to soak it all in. But I will try.
Heh. I’m not holding my breath waiting for an Obama pardon, but pardoning a few more Democrats could pave the way toward a more important conclusion–pardoning all those who are or have been the subject of the Mueller Switch Project, perhaps the best means of putting that long-running travesty out of its misery.