They’ll get the most beautiful cake with the most beautiful file in it!


Speculation is mounting that President Donald Trump could issue a pardon to members of his family and close associates who are suspected of colluding with Russia in the 2016 campaign.


The June 2016 meeting of Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner and Russian go-betweens promising dirt about Hillary Clinton raises the specter of criminal liability under campaign finance laws.

pardon us laurel and hardy

Original movie poster

(Don’t strain your dear little eyes, Raisinettes. That’s Paul Manafort in the top floor cell and Michael Flynn in the bottom. The guard with the gun is Robert Mueller.)

Those laws prohibit foreign nationals from “directly or indirectly” making “a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value … in connection with any Federal, State, or local election.” Damaging information on an opponent could certainly be considered a “thing of value” during a campaign.

Not everyone agrees that Trump’s son, son-in-law and Manafort committed crimes. We are a long way from knowing whether there will be criminal prosecutions in these matters. But the mere possibility of a criminal prosecution could lead the president to invoke his authority under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution to grant “Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States.”


In 1837, the United States Supreme Court held that the president’s pardon power “extends to every offence known to the law, and may be exercised at any time after its commission, either before legal proceedings are taken, or during their pendency, or after conviction and judgment.”

Yet prospective pardons are quite rare. The most famous prospective pardon in American history was granted by President Gerald Ford in September 1974. He pardoned former President Richard Nixon after he was forced to resign in the face of the Watergate scandal. Ford pardoned Nixon for “all offenses against the United States which he… has committed or may have committed or taken part in” between the date of his inauguration in 1969 and his resignation.

In other cases, presidents have halted criminal proceedings immediately after they began. President George H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger just after Weinberger had been indicted for lying to Congress about the sale of arms to Iran by the Reagan administration.

Those pardons evoked public outcry against what was perceived to be an arrogant interference with the legal process.


Given such controversies about pardons and the the fear of being labeled soft on crime, presidents have been increasingly reticent about using their clemency power before or after conviction. Thus, while President Nixon granted clemency to more than 36 percent of those who sought it during his eight years in office, the comparable number for George W. Bush was 2 percent. President Obama reversed that trend, granting more pardons and commutations than anyone since Harry Truman.

Given President Trump’s commitment to being a law-and-order president, it seems unlikely that he will follow Obama’s lead. Yet he may make an exception to shield Donald Jr., Kushner and Manafort from criminal liability.

Congressman Adam Schiff predicted a negative public reaction if Trump grants pardons.


However, his prediction offers little comfort at a time when many venerable norms and rules of political life are being rewritten or ignored. No matter what explanation he might offer, any move by President Trump to pardon Donald Jr., Kushner or Manafort would not only hamper the Russia investigations, it would also deliver another serious blow to America’s increasingly precarious hold on democracy and the rule of law.


Filed under George H. W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, humor, movies, Pardons, parody, Republicans, Richard Nixon, Robert Mueller, Russia, satire, snark, Supreme Court

7 responses to “They’ll get the most beautiful cake with the most beautiful file in it!

  1. Anyway you look at it, I’m almost certain Model T. will pardon each individual involved., o]including himself and as I’ve said before he’ll come smelling like a rose. Of course we know that T. knew exactly what was happening and I believe he was also involved.

    Don’t you know the FBI is gnashing its teeth knowing that he will pardon everybody? I just read that junior and Manafort are already refusing to testify.

  2. the loony tic

    we all know that elites live in gated communities with their own set of rules & regulations. when twitler pardons himself & his family then we can look forward to voting him out of office but having that ignored as well. welcome to the oligarchy we’ve always known we had.

    • Twitler is pissing off members of the class he has always wished he was in. There’s a billionaire donors to the party who are no longer giving the Rethugs any money, because they are thoroughly disgusted with this administration and how the Congress is kowtowing to an asshole.

  3. No wall could be more beautiful than the wall of the prison holding this gaggle of slimebuckets. Mexico might even offer to pay for it.

    I suppose we’re now stuck with the number 45 being associated with Trump. Sad! I’ve always associated it with the defeat of fascism and the beginning of the nuclear age (1945), but now it evokes Trump wherever it’s seen.

    Tradition will mean nothing at all to Trump where pardons are concerned, but that might turn out to be the last of the mountain of straws Trump has been heaping on Congress’s back. Note that the new Russia sanctions bill, with a provision specifically barring Trump from unilaterally reversing it, passed the Senate 97-2. Even the Republicans will stand up to him on some things. We don’t know what it would take to push them over the impeachment line, but a mass toady-pardoning might do it.

    • I’d chip in for that wall! 😀

      I think the Senate is going to have to start standing up to the shitgibbon, or they will see their campaign coffers dry up. Even if the Dems lose in 2018, 2020 is right around the corner. By that time, not only will the ultra-rich be disgusted, but the average voter will be seeing the results of voting for Twitler, and it won’t be pretty. The pendulum always eventually swings back in the other direction, and I think that it will swing all the way back after this shitstorm. If they can’t kill Obamacare, they lose their base. If they do kill Obamacare, people will suffer. They can’t win.