Op-Ed: Great start, Mr. President. Bring on more mass pardons, he says
President Donald Trump has said he would like to pardon as many as 3,000 Americans after his inaugural address Tuesday night. His stated reasons for wanting to pardon include individuals who he believes harmed the nation.
Trump said he would pardon them for “any crimes the government hadn’t yet caught up to.”
According to the Washington Post, some of the people pardoned by Trump include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his former associate Lev Parnas.
Giuliani, who worked for Trump, was pardoned by Trump on Tuesday. Giuliani, who the Washington Post called “the man with the most to hide,” has been accused by a Ukrainian judge of trying to use his power to influence a president’s election.
Parnas, who was Trump’s third foreign business associate indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller, also was pardoned by Trump on Tuesday. The Washington Post did not report on Parnas’s arrest in Ukraine.
Pardons tend to be controversial. In the past, Trump has pardoned former CIA director James Woolsey, who was convicted of lying to Congress on the Iran-Contra affair. Woolsey had been a key figure in the scandal, and his testimony was key to the conviction of Scooter Libby, who tried to hide the affair.
Trump has pardoned several people he thought the government was seeking for crimes. For example, he pardoned a man who was convicted in a case of soliciting a prostitute.
The president has also pardoned Americans for their work with foreign governments.
Other controversial pardons have included pardoning the “Deep State” after the Obama administration had a secret and illegal wiretapping operation on Trump’s campaign, and even pardoning former sheriff Joe Arpaio, the infamous “America First” sheriff who was convicted of racially profiling Latinos.
Trump’s Tuesday night address is set to be a speech that is very “anti-establishment.” In his address, Trump is expected to defend himself against claims that he is a “big-time gangster.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was a vocal critic of Trump during the presidential campaign, said on Tuesday night that “