Quantcast
Connect with us

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow details exactly how Trump’s flagrant use of pardons may be ‘criminal obstruction of justice’

Published

on

Rachel Maddow compares Donald Trump to George Wallace on Jan. 5, 2016. (MSNBC)

President Donald Trump’s pardoning of Dinesh D’Souza on Thursday looked to many observers like a flagrant attempt to send a signal to his associates implicated in the Russia investigation that he is willing to pardon them, too, in an effort to keep them from cooperating with prosecutors. But as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained, if Trump really is using the pardon power in this way, it could place him in serious legal jeopardy.

ADVERTISEMENT

The problem is that, as even the President Richard Nixon’s White House seemed to acknowledge, the pardon power cannot be used to hinder or undermine investigations that might affect the president personally, Maddow explained.

“Yesterday, we found out that the prosecution of the president’s longtime personal lawyer is going ahead in the Southern District of New York, today the president issued a full pardon to this guy who was convicted by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York,” she said. “The president also decided today to dangle the prospect of a whole bunch of other pardons for other people you might have heard of.”

She continued: “Psychologically, the president has started using the pardon power in a way that is designed to showcase his own power to arbitrarily pardon whoever he wants, outside any system. To act on a whim, to do it whenever he feels like it.”

Given that the use of a pardon could technically become a part of an obstruction of justice case against the president and was even cited after Nixon resigned as a potential topic for a fourth article of impeachment against the disgraced president, this attitude toward the pardon power is highly suspicious.

Maddow even played a tape in which Nixon can be heard talking about a possible use of the pardon that his Chief of Staff Bob Haldeman told him he shouldn’t even mention because it could implicate that president in “criminal obstruction of justice.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“The problem is, even for presidents of the United States, even with a presidential power as broad as the pardon power, you can’t just do it for anybody in any circumstances,” Maddow said. “Not in the case of a Bob Haldeman, you couldn’t. At least that’s what they thought during Watergate. And if you couldn’t with Bob Haldeman, why would anybody think you could do this with Michael Cohen?”

Watch the clip below:

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Election gift for Florida? Trump poised to approve drug imports from Canada

Published

on

Over the objections of drugmakers, the Trump administration is expected within weeks to finalize its plan that would allow states to import some prescription medicines from Canada.

Six states — Colorado, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Vermont — have passed laws allowing them to seek federal approval to buy drugs from Canada to give their residents access to lower-cost medicines.

But industry observers say the drug importation proposal under review by the administration is squarely aimed at Florida — the most populous swing state in the November election. Trump's support of the idea initially came at the urging of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a close Republican ally.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Highly unusual’: Bill Barr’s Russiagate prosecutor expands probe to include Clinton Foundation

Published

on

John Durham, the U.S. attorney appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has reportedly expanded the scope of his investigation to look into past allegations of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation.

The New York Times reports that Durham "has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Cops violated Breonna Taylor’s civil rights before they even knocked down her door: Legal expert

Published

on

A legal expert explained that Breonna Taylor's civil rights were violated before Louisville police showed up at her apartment to serve a search warrant.

Civil rights attorney Maya Wiley told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the system that let police off the hook in Taylor's killing was inherently rigged against people of color, because it shields officers from accountability when they make mistakes.

"Remember [this] started as a no-knock warrant, and because she had no criminal record, because there were real questions here, they actually changed it to a knock-and-announce [warrant], that tells you something," Wiley said. "It also tells us we need to know more because, as I said, there were indications the Postal Service inspector said they didn't think there were suspicious packages, so there is a need to understand more."

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE