A Pardon for Trump


Yes, that was my immediate reaction. WHAT??!!?

But then I read this article …

Why Biden Should Pardon Trump

Here is the opening line:

If President-elect Joe Biden hopes to fulfill his pledge to unify the nation, he should do the unthinkable and pardon Donald Trump.

The article was written by Michael Conway, counsel for the House Judiciary Committee in the impeachment inquiry of President Richard Nixon in 1974. While I felt he made a couple of respectable points in his argument, I’m curious to know what my readers think.

BTW, there’s a “Quick Vote” option in the middle of the article if you want to share your POV and compare it with how others feel about the issue.

46 thoughts on “A Pardon for Trump

  1. I see the point here. Also, Trump is more than likely going to be indicted in New York State; so as long as he winds up in an orange jumpsuit sitting behind bars, I don’t really care if it’s in a federal or state penitentiary. Lock ’em up!

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Nixon was arguably no longer a threat to the republic after his resignation. I’m not sure that is the case here. Nixon had sufficient moral awareness to resign. Again, that appears to be absent here. So no, I’m in favor of letting the legal system do its thing.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. I read this suggestion somewhere else and whoever the author was said, “Yes, good idea. As long as Trump is under explicit orders to stop tweeting.” 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

    • From other remarks of yours that I’ve read on the subject of Trump, I think I have a pretty good idea what you would have to say …, so thanks! 😋 I’ll just go ahead and make my own assumptions. 😉

      Liked by 7 people

  4. Hell no.

    “American democracy cannot tolerate the prosecution of political opponents.” That is absolutely true, and Biden needs to be seen to do the opposite of what Trump did (turning the AG and the Justice Dept. into his own political attack dogs). But there is a big difference between not prosecuting your political opponents, and pardoning them. Letting it go is not the same as saying what Trump did was OK, which is what a pardon would convey.

    “The 73 million Americans who voted to re-elect Trump two weeks ago will be just as angry about a good faith federal investigation of Trump after he has left office as Democrats were angry about Trump’s baseless chant to lock up his former political opponents.” They certainly would… so don’t investigate him. Biden and Pelosi and Schumer should make an agreement that at the Federal level, we’re not going to pursue Trump for anything. Let it go. Let New York handle it.

    Look, Trump’s base is not going to give Democrats any credit for a pardon, under any circumstances. To think it would soften their hearts toward Biden and make his agenda more achievable is frankly naive. I admire Biden for running as everyone’s president, and that he wants to make a good-faith effort to work across the aisle. We desperately need this. But go ask Obama how well that worked for him. With McConnell still in control of the Senate, I expect the Republicans to revert to their role of “the party of No” with deficits as their hypocritical argument. I loved what George Will had to say a few days ago about a Biden-McConnell partnership, I would love if that happened to some degree, though I’m not holding my breath. But I don’t think a pardon would contribute anything to seeing that come about.

    Liked by 12 people

    • While I agree with most of Brent’s well-reasoned analysis (including that “73 million Americans who voted to re-elect Trump will be just as angry about a good faith federal investigation after he has left office….”), I don’t think that ends the consideration here. For me, the determining principle is NO MAN IS ABOVE THE LAW, otherwise it is nothing more than a piety (if it isn’t already). Yes, “Let New York handle it” — but if Trump beats the New York rap, I believe Biden’s Attorney General should pursue charges (make a Federal case of it, if you will) — not because of pressure from Biden (which ain’t gonna happen), but because JUSTICE DEMANDS IT. In that light, the opinion of those 73 million Trump voters is irrelevant.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pardon Trump?

    That would be a stunningly foolish idea.

    Possibly, Biden should decline to prosecute Trump. But he should never issue a pardon.

    Yes, if Biden were to pardon Trump, he might get the support of some Trump voters — maybe the support of two or three of them. But most Trump voters would see that as a vindication of the stand they took, and as proof that Biden stole the election.

    Of course, Biden would lose a lot of support among those who voted for him.

    No, a pardon for Trump will not heal the nation.

    Liked by 9 people

  6. Pardon Trump, is that a joke? The man who single-handedly allowed the spread of coronavirus throughout a nation and refused to take responsibility for that? The man who single-handedly set climate action back by 500 years and delights in that fact? The man who charged federal workers to pay him for doing their jobs, thus stealing taxpayer monies, and gloated about it? The man who pardoned convicted criminals while basically cheering on police forces for murdering black citizens? The man who thinks it is okay for white supremicists to mow down anti-racist protesters? The man who signed the death warrants of millions of living beings by opening federal reserves to for-profit corporations? The man who separated children from their parents and conveniently never kept records of who belonged to whom? Pardon this sorry excuse for a sub-human human being?
    Don’t throw his ass in prison, that is too good for him. Throw him into a zoo cage and thr burgers and fries from Carl’s Jr, or Burgers Are Us at him.
    No, to let this criminal escape prosecution is to tell the next Trump-wannabe that it is okay to thumb his nose at Constitution? No way in hell! This is one time even I will forego my hatred of the justice system.
    And show his rabid psychofanatics if you do the crime, you gotta be willing to give up your freedom. Otherwise they will run roughshod over the Democratic SJWs.
    Peace to all, but to D’JidioT, nothing but covfefe.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I read down to this line and decided this conversation is going in a direction I won’t go:

    “American democracy cannot tolerate the prosecution of political opponents.”

    This is a true statement, but the context makes it a repugnant and despicable projection of what Trump and the GOP would love to do. At this point, I see why Infidel753 chooses to not comment. Sometimes silence is a pretty good statement. I know this is where my bloomers got all bunched up. Several choice obscenities went through my mind and I thought how nice it would feel to get physical with Bone Spurs, and anyone else who needs their face slapped off.

    He will not be prosecuted because of political opposition, but for the crimes against the state. In April, following the inauguration, Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon spoke before a group of conservatives:

    Kellyanne: “I know it is a hard thing to understand, but it is necessary that we take control of the Republican party.” (They did.)

    Steve Bannon: “Our mission is the deconstruction of the administrative state.” (And we expect your full compliance. They complied fully.)

    (Now, that quote is not verbatim, but I don’t want to look it up, but it is close enough that everyone should understand their intent: the reducing of our democratic process into a chaotic and in-effective bureaucracy with no direction nor authority. Our administrative offices enforce our constitution and keep the nation operating.

    “A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution.”
    James Madison

    As I said, this is the point I had to stop reading. Maybe the author didn’t consider all the ramifications of pardoning Trump. It is true that several states are waiting to prosecute him, but that is on state charges. If he were pardoned there is a great deal of information that would be cut off from them. Everything that needs to take place can do just as well without Trump being pardoned. There is nothing to be gained, there will not be better relations between Left and Right. Republicans would just look on us as a bunch of dweebs, as they should.

    The Christian Nationalist, White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis, and all those wannabe militias will continue on with what it is they do pardon or not. They are engaged in an all-out assault on our Republic and our democratic government. They have formed a coalition with some ultra-rich supporters who would be better served without law and order or democracy and a constitution.

    “Contempt for law is death to a republic, and this one has developed alarming symptoms of the disease.”
    Charles W. Chestnutt

    Who wants our troops withdrawn from around the world? When we move out, all our enemies and competitors move in, Russia and China first of all. They have already gained a lot of ground while Trump carries out their agendas.

    Trump was impeached, not without reason. The Senate refused to remove him, not without reason.
    How much money, that we can identify, flows between Russia, the Republican party, and the Religious Right?

    Liked by 4 people

    • “Republicans would just look on us as a bunch of dweebs, as they should.” I have really been struggling with this question.

      Our Constitution, our democratic structures and norms, the checks and balances between government branches, the rule of law (to which everyone is subject), etc. are all really really important. Trump and McConnell have been showing us how fragile and unreliable they are, when faced with people who only care about the raw exercise of power. They aren’t magic; they require the majority to have enough integrity to uphold them equally whether it benefits those they favor or not. I fear we have lost this; that for both sides, having their own tribe win is the only standard of measure.

      So when those structures have been abused to commit injustices and unfairly tilt the playing field, and the reins of power are handed back to those who believe they should not be used that way — what do those in power now do? Should they take a principled stand and say, “I will not use unwise, unjust, unconstitutional means to right the wrongs you have done? I will not continue to erode the very structures that hold us together?” Doesn’t that just make them chumps… “dweebs” as you say? Republicans govern unfairly to get every advantage of power that they can, and Democrats govern with both arms tied behind their back and their feet in cement buckets?

      Or do they do the same things their opponents did, exercising all the power they can (gerrymandering, court packing, choosing judges for partisan loyalty, …) for outcomes they see as benefiting those who have been unfairly treated… knowing that as they do so, they’re continuing to erode those structures, and potentially hastening the day when someone does what Trump did, but competently, and suddenly we have a dictatorship — our Constitution is only a piece of paper, our democratic elections are only theater?

      I don’t have an answer for this. I fear Pandora’s box cannot be reclosed.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. Healing between left and right?

    Tiffany Cross: “I’m not meeting a bigot halfway.”

    Since our founding, we have compromised with slaves, capitalists who depend on slaves, and the church which sanctifies slavery. How long are white people going to be satisfied with being led around by the nose to satisfy the wants of our capitalist oppressors? Through religion and social prejudice, they keep us divided and fighting among ourselves. As long as whites, blacks, and other minorities are at each other throats, they will not intervene. It is only when we start to form our own coalition that they intervene.

    Capitalism and religion are not about equality among men. Politicians with no ambition besides self-advancement have no need to hinder the plans of the other two. Probably, religion is the most devious of the lot, using the threat of death and hellfire or eternal bliss to keep the sheep in the fold.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Robert Reich made a similar point on his blog yesterday. Having the 99% sharply divided into two parties and viciously fighting each other suits the 1% and the powerful corporations just fine. The smart thing would be for the 99% to find common cause on issues like employment, wage increases, affordable health care, etc.

      Sadly, Trump gave his base false scapegoats; “they” (immigrants, minorities, etc.) are the reason you’re not prospering, he said, and we need to return to the imagined paradise of 1950s “Leave It to Beaver”. Economic well-being isn’t the only important issue; we need equal justice and opportunity too. How can we make partners of those who vehemently deny this? “Meeting a bigot halfway” is a good summary.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I don’t remember much unity resulting from Obama’s decision to look the other way on Dick Cheney’s war crimes. I would have hoped Biden might have learned something from that.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Like Infidel, Brent, and Cagjr… I am infuriated by this complete, blatant oversight of our Constitutional Democracy and the Rule of Law that all 338-million Americans (and foreigners here legally) are subject to, INCLUDING the POTUS and all government officials!!!

    Treat one man or woman as “above the Law” and that state/nation sets a horribly dangerous and slippery slope for the rest of its civilized future. Period!

    Liked by 5 people

  11. Hello Nan. No Biden shouldn’t pardon tRump, and while the DOJ shouldn’t go on any political persecutions of tRump there must be investigations into what tRump and his administration did while they were in office. As has been said, there is a large difference between political persecutions of making up a crime to harm someone politically such as the Republicans did with Hillary dealing with Benghazi, and actually holding people accountable for breaking the law which we have seen the tRump administration do repeatedly with things like the Hatch Act and so much more.

    This country can not have two justice systems, one for the wealthy and powerful and a much stricter one for the poor and unconnected. We need to ask are we a country of laws where everyone is equal under the law? If so then even the most wealthy and powerful need to be held to the same standards as the average person is. If inside trading is wrong for me it is also wrong for a Republican congressperson. If tampering with an election is wrong for you, it is wrong for Lindsey Graham also.

    Unless there is known to be a punishment for breaking the law then what is to deter a future administration led by a criminal president from breaking every law they desire to? I feel either they laws mean something or we should stop pretending to be a country of the people for the people and admit we are a Plutocracy were the wealthy elite get to live as they wish while the rest of us struggle to survive under a draconian dystopia. Hugs

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Trump has been so successful in his destruction of the Constitution because Nixon was pardoned. Biden can NOT pardon trump..not if we wish to rebuild the country.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. A Biden pardon for Trump would legitimize every dictator the world over. For U.S. politics, it would signal the decisive end of the Democratic Party, showing them to be pathetically hypocritical, blindly ineffective and insanely compliant, and , and hence set the stage for the brutal take-over by the Trump Party, a.k.a. The Republicans.

    Liked by 5 people

  14. Hi Nan;
    I think I have a different take on this. Pardon him, convict him, ignore him; it all amounts to the same. I am far less concerned with pardoning Trump than I am in holding those accountable who facilitated and condoned his actions. People like McConnell, Graham, Cotton, Cruz, Grassley, etc. They failed to protect the country when someone came into power that was corrupt by refusing to allow the judicial process to deal with the corrupt one in power or at least deal with the problem within their own party.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Yes, I say padon him. Why?

    Well, first of all it is an open acknowledgment of his guilt – can’t pardon an innocent man, right? – and it is also a not-so-subtle slap in the mouth for all those who voted for him:

    ”See, I’m pardonning the lampooning fool you lot put in office. Now let that be a lesson to y’all and let’s get back to doing what America does best. Who shalll we invade next, Kamala?”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think many who immediately said HELL NO! probably didn’t read the article and gut-reacted instead.

      This part goes along with your remark about open acknowledgement of guilt:
      Trump’s acceptance of a pardon — under the 1915 Supreme Court opinion in Burdick v United States — is an admission that he was guilty of the crimes for which he has been pardoned. Pardoning him may be the only way that Trump even implicitly concedes he did anything wrong. (Emphasis mine)

      Further (from the article): a federal pardon wouldn’t eliminate all of Trump’s potential criminal exposure … it would not bar Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from investigating and potentially prosecuting Trump and his company for crimes under state law.

      Of course there are many, many reasons (and several have been expressed in the comments) why it’s an unthinkable action — contrary to Mr. Conway’s perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Nan. I think tRump would take the pardon while continue to deny he is guilty. That is what Sheriff Joe Arpaio did. Used the pardon tRump gave him and just refuted the guilty part entirely. tRump knows his cult will accept anything he says and disregard anything that disagrees with it, especially fake news reporting. That is why the idea of giving him a pardon to get him to admit a crime simply won’t work. Hugs

        Liked by 2 people

  16. Pardoning Trump, assuming he willingly walks away from office, seems just a terrible idea. Frankly, we don’t even know what harm he’s done yet. It’s not like the White House has been completely transparent.

    Put together an independent commission and let them investigate him. Once they have a report it can become public, and then the President can decide if he wants to pardon Trump or not. Prior to that it does not serve the public interest.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. There’s no placating Trumpists short of giving them the millennial Trumpocracy they crave. So don’t base a decision on pardoning on their reactions. I agree with those who call for a full investigation into Trump’s many crimes. And that investigation should be broad enough to include Cabinet members, administration staff, and members of Congress. Sure, Trumpists will object, but, as I indicated above, they care not about justice, peace, unity, or any principles. For national integrity, all the Trump administration’s crimes must be exposed and brought to prosecution.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. No pardon. Given what Trump continues to do in the wake of losing the election by the same ‘landside’ margin of EC votes by which he won, there’s no reason nor sense in rewarding him for his stubbornness. The Trumpettes wouldn’t accept it; for what would such a pardon be issued if he’s not guilty? Further, such a pardon would only tacitly condone Trump’s behavior (along with the GOP’s actions), further diluting the checks and balances.

    In short: Trump wouldn’t appreciate it, and doesn’t demonstrate the moral awareness or remorse that should come with being given a pardon. His base doesn’t believe he needs it. The GOP would just smirk, having gotten away with a load of misdeeds once again.

    Beyond the borders, such a pardon would reinforce the sense of collapse with which the rest of the world views the United States.

    Beyond political halls, such a pardon would reinforce the broad view that there are two sets of rules in play in America, with one set definitively protecting wealthy, white males. As it emboldens GOP behavior, a pardon would end up instead causing further division, not unity.

    No. No. No.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. I find it really strange and frightening, that a man who is so obviously physically and mentally unfit for such a powerful position will be the next President of the US. The so called press know it and have consistently refused to expose it. The so called press chose instead to focus their attention on Donald Trump for four years. I find it really and frightening that the Democrats put Biden forward as their best candidate. Knowing what they do about touchy, feely, hair sniffing Biden, it’s not surprising that the plan was to chose a Vice President to take over before a year is out. Biden is going to need ]a nanny for his official overseas outings. It’s totally disgusting.


    • Hello Mary. Thank you for visiting and offering your comments. I do think most of my regular visitors will wholeheartedly disagree with your perspective of Donald Trump, but that’s probably because they have looked at him and his policies from a much more analytic point of view.

      As for Biden, at least all he did was “touchy, feely” stuff — Trump is well-noted for FAR more than that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I appreciate you letting my comments stay, Nan. It’s your blog and you’re its editor and it’s really rare these days.
        Your regular visitors can only form an opinion based on what the mainstream media doles out. They aren’t likely to fact check. You can only have an opinion if you’ve had access to both sides of a situation. Hunter Biden’s lap top and the damning emails were underreported by mainstream media and suppressed by anti-social media. Trump brokered peace between Israel and three Arab countries, also underreported. Obama got a Nobel prize before he had a chance to earn it, Trump did not. There’s a pattern to this.
        I hear that Andrew Cuomo is going to be rewarded for an Emmy by the kings of empty tokenism for his Covid briefings. His decision making had people go back into nursing homes and that killed people. As for the touchy feely stuff you dismiss so lightly. Perhaps you’d be more shocked if you checked out ‘Joe Biden sniffing little girls hair’ and ‘kissing women on the back of their neck’ on you tube. Or checked out Biden’s many ‘gaffs’ on you tube. I have a parent that is in early stages of dementia. I think it should be less about Trump versus Biden now that Biden is going to be the next President and more about deals done to get Biden (read Harris) into the oval office that should be a worry.
        Just a prediction, Nan. Watch the vicious vipers go for the women in Trump’s family.


        • Speaking of “fact checking” … honest question: Have you ever looked into Trump’s background? I think you will discover he’s done FAR WORSE than “sniffing little girls hair.”

          And even if there was something to the “Hunter’s laptop” stories, it cannot compare to some of the illegal and underhanded “stuff” your Dear Leader has done both before AND during his presidency (like the Ukraine incident for which he was impeached).

          But of course, since he denies all of it and claims total honesty, it’s all “Fake News.” Right?

          Liked by 2 people

          • Nan, a proper response takes time and it’s my turn as carer. I’ll get back to you, but I have to wonder if it’s worth it. I can see that nothing I’ve said so far has impressed you or is likely to. Still, I’d like to thank you again for letting me have my say.

            Liked by 1 person

      • Well, liberals like me, ya know, the ones who eat and sell babies in pizza parlor basements with Biden, Harris and Obama, have kinda damaged many folks outlook on who and what we Satan-loving libs truly are. What we REALLY stand for is worshiping Satan and only OCCASIONALLY eating a baby or two. Hell, it ain’t like we do it EVERY time we meet up in pizza parlor basements! I wish conservatives would understand that and give us a friggin’ break once in awhile! Geez! Wadda ya got ta do these days ta get a little respect, eh.

        Liked by 2 people

        • You keep saying this, but you won’t answer Nan and the rest of us about Trump. Isn’t it hypocritical to accuse Biden of inappropriate touchy-feely stuff, and not say anything about Trump’s far worse actions and attitudes toward women? Have you even researched what Trump has done for yourself? It’s appalling. His own words on the Access Hollywood tape alone should have cost him the 2016 election.

          It’s very revealing that the same people who were so worked up about Bill Clinton’s affairs, and how important moral character was in a president, were suddenly saying it wasn’t a big deal when it was Trump. And I don’t hear those folks praising Obama’s exemplary character in this regard, either. When someone demonstrates this hypocrisy (in either direction–excusing Clinton and condemning Trump is wrong too) it shows us that they don’t care about character, morality, and the treatment of women; they only care about their own team winning. Is that you, or will you answer our question?

          Liked by 1 person

  20. The point is, it makes Biden look generous. In no way does it exonerate Trump, who will still have to face whatever comes next. But Biden doing what Ford did, is making a generous effort to smooth things down a bit. I see him as the sort of man who would do this.
    Trump will still have to work his way through the legal messes he’s created, but the White House will have washed his hands of him.
    I may be wrong, but it seems that this, in some way, clears the books politically.

    Compared to Trump, Nixon was an honorable man who got caught in a very bad deal. He acknowledged it, and resgined. He was also a politician, and could see the best way out was Out. You leave the party before they have to show you the door. I dont say Nixon was entirely blameless, but if you were around then and looked at the loonies he had for advisors, you can see why he was a lesser partner in the whole thing. John Mitchell was just plan nasty. He even put his wife in a mental hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Trump should be investigated. Not pardoned.

    But in the last few days, Trump will resign and let the fuckwit Pence pardon him. Unless of course his coup manages to be successful. Failing that…

    May the NY state investigators have plenty to work with, and a desire to see it through.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Goodness me I am not a Lawyer and I really do not care. What I wanted to do was rationalise my thinking because, I realise that people are way too quick to judge people these days. To the point where it is candidly unhealthy. It has made us look like lousy critics.
    I am not glad Trump is going because it was a painful process for me to realise, this is where we are at.


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