Conservative supporters of Donald Trump are urging the President to immediately pardon anyone who has agreed to plead guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe investigation. The move would limit the investigation’s impact but also draw a major amount of criticism to the president’s administration.
“I think he should be pardoning anybody who’s been indicted and make it clear that anybody else who gets indicted would be pardoned immediately,” Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and senior vice president at the conservative Center for Security Policy, told Politico.
The pardons could be issued to former Trump campaign workers including campaign manager Paul Manafort, former deputy campaign manager Rick Gates, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.
Legal activist Larry Klayman attempts to portray the guilty parties as pawns in a larger game being played out by Republicans. “It’s kind of cruel what’s going on right now and the president should put these defendants out of their misery. I think he should pardon everybody — and pardon himself.”
The call to pardon anyone involved arrived just days after Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals on Friday.
Conservatives have attempted to show that the new indictment shows no evidence of collusion between Trump, his associates, and the Kremlin.
The Power To Pardon
It is well within President Trump’s right to wield his Constitutional power to pardon any citizen convicted of a federal crime. With his power, he can end prison sentences, clear criminal records, and ensure no further action is taken against a guilty party.
If Trump pardoned those involved in the Mueller investigation there would be no judicial or Congressional review, and the president would not be required to explain his decision.
With that being said, it is still unclear if the President has the right to pardon himself from any type of wrongdoing.
Attempting To Justify The Pardons
Tom Fitton, president of the conservative activist group Judicial Watch, believes perceived anti-Trump motives from the Justice Department and FBI would justify granting clemency to Trump associates like Flynn.
“The whole super structure of the Russia investigation is compromised,” Fitton told Politico. “Those caught up in it deserve some protection. Rather than just let the virus run its course, it’d be appropriate for the president to consider pardons for people who are caught up in the prosecution.”
Trump has denied allegations from a Washington Post article that claimed he tasked his aides with researching his pardon powers.
While all agree the U. S. President has the complete power to pardon, why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS against us.FAKE NEWS
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2017
Trump has proven he’s not afraid to use his pardon powers, having already removed charges against controversial Arizona Sherif Joe Arpaio, was charged with profiling Latinos. Trump faced fierce opposition to that decision but moved forward regardless of anger from his critics.
If Trump pardons those currently charged and working on a plea deal from Robert Mueller, he could face his own Saturday Night Massacre.
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