Rachel Maddow looked at the past mass presidential pardon that Trump‘s attorney general nominee William Barr was involved with and raised the red flag on how it relates to the Russia scandal.
William Barr is something very, very specific in the history of presidents and presidential scandals and the bad ways they can end. Because on Christmas eve 1992 when George H.W. Bush shocked the country by pardoning everyone still in trouble in Iran Contra and effectively ending the prosecution of that scandal, while he himself was edging into the crosshairs, he took that action specifically on advice of William Barr in the George H.W. Bush administration at the time, the same trump nominee to the attorney general. Here is the “New York Times” write up from the Christmas Day edition, throughout the deliberations, Mr. Bush consulted with attorney general William Barr. William Barr was asked about the pardons. In a 2001 oral history at the University of Virginia. William Barr said quote I certainly did not oppose any of them. I favored the broadest. There were some people arguing just for a pardon for Weinberger.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) January 11, 2019
With everything else going on in the U.S. Government, with just, with the government shutdown, with the trump administration quietly trying to lift sanctions on a Russian oligarch linked to the trump campaign and expected testimony of Michael Cohen in open session. With the revelation this week the president’s campaign chair was providing internal campaign data, is it really possible in this environment right now that the Senate is about to confirm someone who is most notable previous achievement he was the architect of the last time a major criminal presidential scandal was shut down with blanket pardons for everyone. In for a penny, in for a pound. I wanted everyone pardoned. That is who President Trump has nominated to be attorney general, who is now taking meetings with senators. His confirmation hearings begin on Tuesday.
Trump has not been subtle with his actions as it relates to his desire to kill the Mueller investigation. One of the ways that he could kill the investigation is to pardon everyone associated with it, including himself. Trump is clearly trying to pull something with the nomination of Barr. Amongst all of the other chaos that Trump is causing, the Senate needs to keep its eye on the bigger prize and not be distracted into playing into the hands of what could be Trump‘s plan to pardon his way out of potential future criminal charges.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association