On Trump’s Pardon of Liars, Cheats and Convicted Killers

December 24th, 2020 - by Robert Weissman / Public Citizen

Donald Trump Pardons Four Men Convicted for the Massacre of 14 Iraqi Civilians

Robert Weissman / Public Citizen 

(December 23, 2020) — In 2007, employees of the private military contractor then known as Blackwater, using machine guns and grenade launchers, killed 14 Iraqi civilians — including a woman holding an infant — in what is known as the Nisour Square Massacre.

  • Blackwater — a major piece of the military-industrial complex — was founded by Erik Prince, the brother of Donald Trump’s detestable Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos. (It has since “rebranded” itself under the name Academi.)
  • According to investigators, at least one of the men kept shooting even after “cease fire” had been called and did not stop until after one of his own colleagues pulled a gun on him.
  • Four of the Blackwater employees were tried and convicted in federal court, with one sentenced to life in prison.
  • That is, until Donald Trump pardoned all four of them last night.

Meanwhile, Trump and his vile Attorney General, William Barr, are rushing to carry out as many executions as they can before their time in office runs out. The federal government has executed more people under Donald Trump in just the past six months than under any other president in this or the previous century

And that’s not all the damage Trump is trying to do on his way out. 
The Trump administration is scrambling to approve major mining and energy projects that will trash the environment. It is enabling predatory debt collectors. It is adopting rules to permit federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people. It is trying to make it harder for injured people to collect Social Security Disability benefits. 

And now Trump is even making noise about vetoing the coronavirus relief bill Congress finally passed this week. 

Here’s what this all adds up to:
•  Donald Trump is still president.
•  He still has all the power that comes with that office.
•  And he is becoming more and more desperate and unhinged every day.
•  We are not out of the woods yet. And even though we are all tired of Trump’s inanity and ineptitude, his cruelty and corruption, WE SIMPLY MUST NOT ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE COMPLACENT. 

For democracy, 
Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. Public Citizen, 1600 20th Street NW, Washington DC 20009

ACTION ALERT: Protect Our Democracy from Self-serving Pardons

Hon. Adam Schiff / US House of Representatives

In just the last twenty-four hours, President Donald Trump has pardoned some of his closest corrupt pals, former aides, and advisors. They are people like Roger Stone and Paul Manafort, who lied to protect him, Jared Kushner’s dad, actual convicted war criminals, and more. 

The message from Trump is clear: if you lie for me, if you cover for me, if you’re loyal to me, I’ll protect you, reward you, and get you out of jail. But if, on the other hand, you expose corruption or stand up to me, I’ll come after you.

It’s grotesque. It’s corrupt. And Republicans know it and just don’t care. No matter what damage that Trump does to our democracy and the rule of law on his way out. 

Pardons can right a wrong, cure an injustice, and give those who are sorry a second chance. There are thousands of Americans who deserve pardons, who have reformed and repented, and who deserve a second chance. 

This isn’t that. Not by a long shot. We all fear what this is leading up to: pardons for Trump’s family, his closest aides still in the White House, and perhaps Trump himself. That’s why we have to act.

These last twenty-four hours prove that if you elect a corrupt president, you’re going to get corrupt results, and lots of them

I’ve introduced legislation, the Protecting Our Democracy Act, which would prevent abuses of presidential power like the pardon. It was designed for pardons just like these. 

ACTION: Will you add your name in support of the Protecting Our Democracy Act now to urge Congress to pass this legislation and prevent future presidents from abusing the pardon like Trump?