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Editorial

Trump’s Criteria for Pardon

President Trump is using his constitutional right to pardon as if he were a Christmas bonanza.

He doles out pardons as if he were rewarding his business associates for their good performance, for the support they provided him in his difficult affairs.

He uses the presidential pardon as if it were a strictly personal privilege: as a reward for his former associates – and acquaintances – for refusing to cooperate with the Federal authorities, of which he is the leader.

He does this as a reward for their refusal to reveal what they know about him – which caused several others to pay the price of imprisonment.

The Constitution grants this right to the president. He is acting within the law. But that does not mean he is doing the right thing. The authors of the Constitution did not take such conduct into account when giving this power to the President. They included it so that there could be the possibility of granting pardons out of mercy; in cases of repentance by the convict; for unjust condemnation, etc.

And it has probably never been used in this obvious and unacceptable way.

What else will we see through January 20?

Among those whom Trump pardoned is our own George Papadopoulos, who had been imprisoned for 12 days for lying to the FBI about his Russian contact in the context of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

It is not clear from the original text why Trump pardoned him. The only thing one can assume is that Papadopoulos knows things which Trump does not want to be revealed.

I would say that the case of Papadopoulos is one of the most unproblematic among the 15 relatively mild cases, which he pardoned earlier this week. There are much worse. Really unacceptable.

Again, who knows what will follow until January 20. He is probably just warming up.

God knows what Joe Biden will inherit.

That is enough for now. The holidays are here. I wish you a Merry Christmas, with health in the coming New Year.

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