“Meanwhile thousands of poor and working-class kids sit in jail for nonviolent drug convictions. This is what a broken and racist criminal justice system looks like.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders said late Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s decision to grant clemency to several prominent white-collar criminals—including the former governor of Illinois and a financier known as the “junk bond king”—was a demonstration of how the U.S. criminal justice system favors the powerful while punishing the vulnerable.
“Trump granted clemency to tax cheats, Wall Street crooks, billionaires, and corrupt government officials,” tweeted Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. “Meanwhile thousands of poor and working-class kids sit in jail for nonviolent drug convictions.”
“This is what a broken and racist criminal justice system looks like,” added Sanders, who is running on a platform that includes sweeping reforms to the criminal justice system.
Trump, who on Tuesday declared himself the “chief law enforcement officer of the country,” pardoned or commuted the prison sentences of 11 people, including financier Michael Milken, who served 22 months in jail for racketeering and securities fraud charges; former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was convicted on multiple counts of tax fraud and lying to the government; and Illinois’ former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of bribery, wire fraud, and attempted extortion after trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.
“He’s got a obviously a big fan in me,” Blagojevich said of Trump after being released from prison Tuesday. “And if you’re asking what my party affiliation is, I’m a Trumpocrat.”
Rod Blagojevich: “He’s [Pres. Trump] got a obviously a big fan in me. If you’re asking what my party affiliation is… I’m a Trumpocrat.” pic.twitter.com/ztVuNuCQYq
— Haleigh Hoffman (@HaleighHoffman) February 19, 2020
Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois, said in a statement that by commuting Blagojevich’s sentence, “Trump once again swims in the swamp he promised to drain.”
As The Daily Beast reported late Tuesday, several of the people Trump granted clemency are “either Fox News regulars or have been championed by the president’s favorite cable-news network.”
“And in another case, the family of one pardon recipient dished out massive contributions to the president’s re-election campaign just months before Trump’s clemency spree,” according to The Daily Beast.
In response to The Daily Beast‘s report, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted, “It looks like in the Trump White House, you can buy a pardon.”
“This is corruption,” Warren added, “plain and simple.”
Photo: Rod Blagojevich after release from prison (Screen Shot)
Expert: Trump’s ‘forward-leaning posture’ and ‘body tics’ are cause for serious concern
A professor of Neurology at George Washington University says he believes there may be legitimate concerns over President Donald J. Trump's "forward-listing posture" that goes beyond the comical memes and gif responses normally shared on social media.
"I know something about political figures and observable signs of illness from afar," Richard E. Cytowic M.D. wrote in Psychology Today. "... The American public deserves an accurate account of our president’s health."
Armed guards at Florida polling site say they were sent by the Trump campaign
Two armed men set up a tent outside of an early voting location in St. Petersberg, Florida, saying that they were the Trump campaign.
"The Sheriff [Bob Gualtieri] told me the persons that were dressed in these security uniforms had indicated to sheriff's deputies that they belonged to a licensed security company and they indicated, and this has not been confirmed yet, that they were hired by the Trump campaign," said Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Julie Marcus.
"The sheriff and I take this very seriously," Marcus said. "Voter intimidation, deterring voters from voting, impeding a voter's ability to cast a ballot in this election is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in any way shape, or form. So we anticipated many things going into this election. Not only cybersecurity, but physical security, and we had a plan in place and executed that plan."
Seth Meyers says Trump is so checked out he sounds like he’s already packing his stuff
President Donald Trump's closing message on his 2020 campaign career appears to be "'60 Minutes' was mean to me," and he doesn't really want to be in the White House anymore, said Seth Meyers during his "Closer Look" segment Wednesday.
Speaking about Trump's recent decision to walk out of a "60 Minutes" interview, Myers noted that it doesn't appear that Trump's heart is really in it anymore. Apparently, presidenting is no longer for once you start getting indicted.
"You can almost picture him on the other end of the phone in the White House packing his things in a cardboard box, not really paying attention, making half-hearted sh*t up because he knows it's what they want to hear," said Meyers.