Saturday, August 26, 2017

Trump Slaps Rational Justice in the Face with Arpaio Pardon — S.O.P. for Trump

.“No Sweaty da, Joe. I Got Your Back” – 
(Arpaio: Convicted of criminal contempt for profiling Latinos)

Another crazy-ass Trump stunt to stay out front in the limelight to gain attention:

WASHINGTON (from USA TODAY and Washington Post – the highlights) — 

Almost everything about Trump's pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio is unusual.

(From The Post):

Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman wrote after Trump’s belligerent Phoenix rally speech that such a pardon would represent an “assault on the federal judiciary, the Constitution and the rule of law itself for which the remedy is impeachment.”

Political scientist Jeffrey Crouch in his book on the pardon power makes clear, pardons are granted for two reasons: (1) either to provide mercy or (2) correct a miscarriage of justice, in an individual case; or on more general grounds based on public policy.

Trump’s pardon of Arpaio does not fit either category very well.

As regards to mercy: Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist that pardons were needed, since otherwise “justice would wear a countenance too sanguinary and cruel.” Presidents have sometimes pardoned elderly convicts, for instance, rather than see them die in prison.

Arpaio is now 85, but he had not even yet been sentenced; that hearing was set for October. As a procedural matter, the guidelines of the Justice Department’s office of the pardon attorney — not binding on the president, of course, and not consulted in this instance — state that petitions for clemency are normally considered only after five years have passed after a conviction. And, further, in considering such petitions, “The extent to which a petitioner has accepted responsibility for his or her criminal conduct and made restitution to its victims are important considerations.”

Pardons also serve as a check against the judicial branch, when the president feels a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred. At his Phoenix rally, Trump seemed to make this claim, saying that “Sheriff Joe was convicted for doing his job.”

(My Note: Another standard and relatively routine and blatant Trump lie).

(From USA Today):

1. Trump chose a politically polarizing anti-immigration sheriff as the recipient of his first pardon — the kind of controversial grant of clemency recent presidents have reserved for the 11th hour rather than their first act. 

2.  Arpaio didn't even meet the Justice Department guidelines for a pardon.

3.  His conviction wasn't five years old, he hadn't expressed remorse, and he hadn't even applied to the Office of Pardon Attorney. 

Plus, and another White House lie, the day before press secretary *Sarah Huckabee Sanders* said the president would follow “a thorough and standard” process in considering the pardon. That process usually requires seven layers of review and an FBI background check – Note: None were followed.

[I Note: *This pitiful lying uninformed and misleading and dumb woman should be canned from this important job – she is worthless, useless, and disgusting in her job performance and appearance as major spokesperson for the White House – the public should demand she be replaced ASAP. The worst part: She knows when she is relaying a lie,  if not, then it's even worse].

But none of this matters except to generate political hype, etc.  – The constitutional authority to “grant pardons and reprieves for offenses against the United States” is the most-absolute of all the powers any president has.

So turmoil, public anger, and all that aside: Almost every president has done this, and some (see the article examples) have been pretty awful and on a president’s last day in office – but, none ever this early like Trump’s. 

I conclude: What can the public do? Nothing except gripe and moan – or just grin and bear it, or whatever.

Also, Trump loves this kind of power: It can’t be overturned, is rock-solid authority, and unquestionably all his. 

Thanks for stopping by.

No comments: