In a column for The Daily Beast this Wednesday, Matt Lewis contends that former President Donald Trump's promise to pardon Capitol riot defendants if wins back the presidency is confirming the rioters' beliefs that he wanted them to breach the Capitol.
"To be sure, Trump accidentally made an important point about 'treating them fairly.' As it’s unlikely the 45th president will ever pay any legal price for inciting a riot that temporarily halted Congress’ certification of the election, it hardly seems fair for his ground troops to be punished for following his orders," Lewis writes. "Indeed, the lesson many are likely to take from the whole Trump presidency could be summed up in Nixonian terms: 'When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.'"
According to Lewis, Trump's comments make one thing clear, his presidency "makes Watergate look tame."
"Watergate, in hindsight, was a botched 'third-rate burglary,' that turned into an attempted White House coverup. Trump’s presidency, in contrast, involved numerous impeachable offenses, two actual impeachments, several serious attempts to strong-arm officials into 'overturning' the 2020 election, and (lest we forget) the denouement: the incitement of an attempted insurrection," writes Lewis.
Read the full op-ed over at The Daily Beast.