To the surprise of no one, Trump spent his last day in office issuing pardons to celebrities and political allies. Rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black both had their ongoing legal issues ended by the stroke of the president’s pen.
Al Pirro, the ex-husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was given a pardon. But the most troublesome pardon may have been the one given to former Trump campaign head Steve Bannon. Bannon was facing charges for a scheme to defraud Trump supporters under the pretense of building a border wall.
Frequent Trump critic Mitt Romney blasted the pardons on Wednesday afternoon. “I can’t imagine the founders in providing for pardon power for a president anticipated that presidents would use it to reward political friends, and as a result I would hope that we could develop a tradition of more narrowly providing pardons.”
The Utah senator noted there should be a tradition of, “not providing them to people who are cronies or political individuals.”
The topic then turned to preventing Presidents like Trump from giving pardons that were obviously politically motivated. Romney continued, “[I] would love to see a constitutional remedy. It’s unlikely that something like that can get passed just given the difficult process of passing a constitutional amendment.”
Trump’s pardons from this week were in line with the ones given out during his entire term. The ex-President had previously given reprieves to figures like Joe Arpaio, Rod Blagojevich, Scooter Libby, Dinesh D’Souza and a number of war criminals.