During a panel discussion on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell this Tuesday night, former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade argued that President Trump’s latest round of pardons and commutations is designed to normalize the notion that “corruption is not a big deal.”
According to host Lawrence O’Donnell, none of Trump’s action make sense now unless it is somehow related to the trial and sentencing of his longtime confidant Roger Stone.
“If Roger Stone is not willing to do a single night in prison, never mind all the way to [the November election], then Donald Trump may be facing a pardon demand, in effect, from Roger Stone right now,” O’Donnell said.
“I think President Trump is doing what predators do, and that is grooming his victims,” McQuade replied. “He is desensitizing the public to this idea that corruption is not a big deal, and so by pardoning people like Rod Blagojevich and others who were engaged in corrupt activity … he is saying to the world, ‘These aren’t serious crimes, nobody got hurt, they weren’t violent, and so similarly when Roger Stone’s name is the next one to come up for a pardon, he just gets groups into that whole category of people who haven’t done anything all that bad.”