Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

Another Impeachment Angle

With impeachment fading everywhere but inside the beltway, Democrat senators are hard at work finding something new to make an issue of when it comes to President Trump.

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Over the past few weeks, there has been a steady flow of news involving Trump’s pardoning of three military members. Each case is different from the other.  The highest profile case being that of Eddie Gallagher. You may recall that Gallagher was mostly acquitted after a heated military trial that included plenty of proprietorial misconduct and someone else admitting to the supposed crime. In the end, Gallagher was only convicted of posing for a picture with a dead terrorist. The President decided to then pardon him and restore his rank, which was automatically reduced upon that single conviction.

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While it seemed like the brunt of the controversy was over for a moment, some in Naval leadership couldn’t let it go and sought to bust Gallagher again, this time by taking his SEAL trident.

Regardless of the details, the left obviously needed something to complain about and since we live in the era of orange man bad where normal delegated powers don’t apply to Trump, that led to two Democrat senators sending a demand letter to the DOJ about the pardons.

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Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, are pressing the Department of Justice to answer questions about President Trump’s pardons of U.S. soldiers accused of war crimes.

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Whitehouse and Leahy tacitly admit that reality even as they demand answers. This was the beginning of the letter.

The President’s pardon powers are virtually absolute. That is precisely why safeguards must be in place to ensure that they are wielded judiciously.”

Long story short, Trump can pardon whoever he wants for whatever reason he wants. Period.

The DOJ’s Office of the Pardon Attorney and the Pentagon hold no statutory authority over the President. They do not have to be involved in any decision the President makes.

It’s a complete waste of time and money to press the DOJ and Pentagon about the matter when they aren’t even the ones who hold the power. At no point in our history has a President been expected to formally explain his pardons to the legislative branch. That’s simply not in their purview.

Those powers aren’t just “virtually absolute.” They are absolute. You don’t have to like who a President pardons, but his power to do so isn’t in question. Talking about “institutional safeguards” is nonsensical irrelevancy. There are no “institutional safeguards.” There’s simply the constitutional power of the President. If he chooses to use those in advisory positions along the way to gather information, he can do that. Or not.”

This is a dead-end for Democrats, but I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to try to push this issue.

 

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