Trump sees the pardon of Libby as a way to attack the idea of special counsels while appealing for support from Republicans.
Kelly O’Donnell of MSNBC reported:
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) April 13, 2018
O’Donnell said, “To do it now for President Trump is a way to get us talking about the special prosecutor idea, also a way to shore up conservatives and it’s the recent influence of others, two lawyers, two have been outspoken in Trump era, have long been believers that Libby deserved a pardon.”
Trump is trying to tell potential Mueller witnesses not to worry about the special counsel because Trump will pardon them. Of course, Trump’s pardon power does not apply to state-level prosecutions, but the president is trying to keep witnesses on his sign by dangling the pardon carrot.
In polls of Republicans, a pardon for Scooter Libby doesn’t register a priority of any kind, so Trump is being given some terrible advice if he thinks that pardoning Libby will keep all Republicans on board with him after he either fires Mueller, or the Mueller report is released.
The pardon of Libby is a pointless and dumb move. It is another way for seething president to feel like he is doing something and winning the fight against Mueller. There is no reason to believe that the CIA leak investigation and the Mueller investigation are the same things.
Trump is taking two unrelated matters and trying to connect them to save his dying presidency.
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