Shocking analysis shows exactly how badly Trump has corrupted the pardon process
Donald Trump speaks at a White House coronavirus briefing. (CNN/screen grab)

President Donald Trump's pardons of henchmen, cronies and other political allies have drawn widespread condemnation -- and now two legal experts have quantified exactly how much the president has corrupted the presidential pardon process.

Writing at the Lawfare Blog, Jack Goldsmith and Matt Gluck show how Trump has overwhelmingly used his pardon powers as a tool of political patronage by totally circumventing the United States Department of Justice, which has traditionally played a key role in approving such pardons.

"In most cases there is concrete evidence -- based on information in a public Justice Department database -- that the pardon attorney did not recommend clemency, even before one looks at the evidence about the characteristics of the clemency grant and how it served Trump's goals," they write.

In total, they found that roughly 44 percent of acts of clemency granted by Trump did not even have a petition for commutation or pardon filed with the DOJ.

Among those pardoned by the president without petitioning the DOJ include former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, longtime Trump ally Roger Stone, and former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Additionally, they found several cases of Trump pardoning people who were explicitly not recommended by the DOJ after a review of their petitions.

"In sum, we believe, based on current news reporting, that seven of the 94 Trump grants came on recommendation from the pardon attorney, and that the rest either clearly did not or probably did not," they write.

Read the whole analysis here.