An MSNBC panel on Thursday took a hammer to President Donald Trump’s decision to issue a full pardon of right-wing felon Dinesh D’Souza, who pleaded guilty to committing campaign finance fraud in 2014.
Reacting to Trump’s announcement, former federal prosecutor Seth Waxman said that it was a blatant attempt at showing longtime attorney Michael Cohen that he would pardon him if he didn’t implicate the president as part of a plea deal.
“Could this be any more transparent?” he asked. “His ‘fixer’ for ten years is alleged to be involved in passing campaign contributions from others through to his campaign in the context of Stormy Daniels, or passing Russian funds through, and then kind of out of nowhere, Mr. Trump pardons D’Souza, who is accused of doing just that. I can’t see this as anything other than trying to send a message to Michael Cohen… to say I will take care of you in the future, just stand by me.”
Trump biographer Tim O’Brien shared Waxman’s assessment and said pardons such as this one were clear signals to his assorted henchmen that he would reward their loyalty if they refuse to flip on him.
“This could be the president sending signals to the myriad personalities who all have something to say about him that could complicate his life with law enforcement officials,” he agreed. “Absolutely.”
Watch the video below.