Presidential pardons are issued most often when a sentence has been deemed too lengthy or the facts of the case seem too questionable to have convicted that person in the first place. What Trump considers unfair, though, is the prosecution of anyone who was ever nice to him and hasn’t given him up for crimes in exchange for a lighter sentence.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) August 23, 2018
On Thursday, Trump sat for yet another completely insane interview with Fox News’ Ainsley Earhardt to praise Manafort’s “brave” acts in not “flipping” on him, which Trump said should be illegal. Earhardt had asked him whether he was considering pardoning Manafort, which Trump refused to answer directly.
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
However, Trump did return to an old, tired trope that any crimes committed by him or anyone who supports him should be excused because his former political opponent, Hillary Clinton, committed imaginary crimes Trump deems worse.
These claims are made despite seven Republican-led investigations that turned up absolutely no evidence of any crime.
In his praise for Manafort, now convicted of multiple felonies but refusing to spill the beans, to his ire with Cohen for a willingness to cooperate, to his absurd claim that turning state’s evidence should be outlawed, Trump acts more like a mob boss than a president.
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) August 23, 2018
While it’s true that Manafort has not offered testimony against Trump to avoid a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted on eight separate felonies, it seems unlikely that he’s doing so out of any loyalty to Trump. It’s far more likely that he’s terrified of the foreign governments, and particularly the Kremlin, should he decide to implicate Trump in a crime involving collusion with Russia.
'LOCK HIM UP': Protesters shouted at Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-CA, as he arrived at a federal courthouse in San Diego to face charges her and his wife converted more than $250,000 in campaign funds to pay for personal expenses. https://t.co/LOeI9DJyhY pic.twitter.com/oeZOf125wq
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) August 23, 2018
Trump is correct, however, that the Department of Justice has investigated and turned up criminal activity committed by Republicans. Trump’s first congressional supporter, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was recently arrested and charged with felony insider trading. Trump’s second supporter in Congress, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), was recently arrested for no less than 60 counts of felony campaign violations and fraud.
Smart Democrats will also point out that Republicans refuse to police their own, be it the president or Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) https://t.co/iZ95hUseXV
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) August 22, 2018
Just like Trump and his own alleged crimes, the Republican Party in Congress has so far not been nearly as vocal about the crimes committed in their own party as they were about made-up crimes committed by Hillary Clinton or President Obama.