During an appearance on Fox News Sunday over the weekend, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) criticized some of outgoing President Donald Trump’s recent pardons of his associates and supporters. Recent presidential pardon recipients include ex-GOP Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Chris Collins, who committed serious campaign finance law violations and insider trading, respectively — and were also among Trump’s earliest supporters in Congress. Trump also recently pardoned ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone, and others, like Charles Kushner, the father of presidential son-in-law/ adviser Jared Kushner.
GOP Senator Toomey to Chris Wallace @FoxNewsSunday
“Trump going too far with pardons”
"I mean, my goodness, we have tax fraud and bank fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, but because they were close to the president they got pardoned" https://t.co/MUBSJimtxn
— Robert Wolf (@robertwolf32) December 27, 2020
Toomey told Fox host Chris Wallace that he thinks that some of Trump’s recent pardons constitute “a misuse of the power” on account of the pardon recipients’ closeness to the president. Although he did offer support for the recent presidential pardon for Michael Flynn, Toomey observed as follows:
‘I mean, my goodness, we have tax fraud and bank fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, but because they were close to the president they got pardoned.’
Asked about possible steps to roll back presidential pardon power, Toomey called the issue “a good discussion to have but… a tough call,” adding: “I think it would be very challenging.”
Recently, Toomey attracted the ire of Trump following his acknowledgement of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, which the outgoing president himself has adamantly refused to acknowledge. Trump has claimed, without any meaningful proof, that systematic fraud plagued the election and swung the race to Biden.
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) November 22, 2020
Among many defeats for Trump and his allies, in late November, federal Judge Matthew Brann threw out a lawsuit in which the Trump campaign sought to block the certification of the presidential election outcome in Pennsylvania, Toomey’s home state. Brann characterized the Trump team’s case as full “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations,” adding that this nonsense “cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of its sixth most populated state.” After Brann’s decision, Toomey issued a public statement observing that Trump had “exhausted all plausible legal options” for challenging the Pennsylvania election outcome and congratulating Biden and Harris. In a Twitter meltdown that he posted a couple of hours after Toomey’s statement, Trump characterized Brann as “a product of Senator Pat “No Tariffs” Toomey of Pennsylvania, no friend of mine.” Toomey backed Brann’s judicial nomination.
Thanks Mark. It’s all a continuation of the never ending Witch Hunt. Judge Brann, who would not even allow us to present our case or evidence, is a product of Senator Pat “No Tariffs” Toomey of Pennsylvania, no friend of mine, & Obama – No wonder. 900,000 Fraudulent Votes! https://t.co/17rk2KsUPs
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2020