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President-Elect Biden Should Pardon Donald


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    Donald Trump has almost certainly committed a number of crimes before and during his time as President. There's very little doubt about that. However, President-elect Biden should make pardoning Donald one of his first acts after he is sworn into office.

    I have a feeling a number of people vehemently disagree with me, but hear me out. Charging and prosecuting a former President will consume President-elect Biden's entire Presidency. It would immediately become a sideshow that dwarfs any other thing the new Administration will try to get done. And it's not entirely clear that, even if Donald committed crimes while in office, that a jury would ever convict him. How in the world would you ever find an impartial jury to try one of the most loathed **and loved** men in the world?

    Not just that, but a Presidential pardon would immediately undercut Donald's messaging post-Presidency. It would surely be difficult for Donald and his cult followers to accuse Biden of seeking revenge against Donald if Biden pardons him.

    Additionally, the pardon would only be for Federal crimes, so all the investigations against Donald in New York and other states would be able to go on unencumbered. Do you honestly care if Donald is in state or Federal prison? I sure don't.

    If President-elect Biden wants to have any chance of getting anything done these next four years he would be wise to move on from Donald. A Presidential pardon can do that with one stroke of a pen.

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    Basically, what OP is saying is that democrats should continue to kiss the republican voters asses, as well as the GOP's asses.

    Thank you for that.

    Democrats already have bad breath, now we should just get used to the taste of hiney.

    I can see the psychology of the way OP's mind is working, but when people go to federal prison for white collar crimes, they're coddled there anyway, and a state prison system? Trump might get lucky receiving coddling care from inmates there too, birds of a feather analogy here.

    I am to the point of where I'm beginning to believe hard labor while imprisoned really meant something. How about Trump be convicted of crimes against humanity and then sent to an all Muslim prison? In Iran? Oh, what about a prison in Mexico whose people he separated at our border, I wonder how they would treat him there?

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    Dockadams Wrote:

    Basically, what OP is saying is that democrats should continue to kiss the republican voters asses, as well as the GOP's asses.

    Thank you for that.

    Democrats already have bad breath, now we should just get used to the taste of hiney.

    I'm just a pragmatist, Dock.

    I'm under no illusion that we're on the precipice of a new "Era of Good Feelings," but putting a former President on trial will consume Joe Biden's entire Presidency. He won't be able to tackle climate change, the pandemic, income inequality, or anything else. It will be ONLY about locking up Donald. For me personally, the risks far outweigh the rewards.

    Now, that doesn't mean I think the Biden Administration and Congressional Democrats should simply try to act like the past four years didn't happen. There should be Congressional and Federal investigations on a whole host of issues ranging from Trump profiting off the office, his and his sycophant's complete disregard for the rule of law, and finding out conclusively what happened with his Russian dealings during the 2016 election.

    But instead of prosecuting Donald, I think new laws should be passed to prevent the next, potentially smarter, Donald. What the past four years have shown us is that the Executive Branch is controlled far more by norms than laws.

    Much of what Donald did these past four years broke norms, not laws. I think it would be in Democrats interest to pass some bills that peel back some of the overwhelming powers the Executive has. I have every confidence that President-elect Biden would be happy to sign common sense bills that put some guardrails in place into law.

    "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal." Richard J. Nixon.

    How about we pass some laws that change that?

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    Jared -- Here are my thoughts. First we must recognize that Trump is a "malignant narcissist" . One of the traits is "paranoid thinking" -- a sense of persecution, difficulty trusting others, preoccupation with others' loyalty, tendency to bear grudges, and tendency to view benign actions of others as attempts at deception or exploitation.

    Everything that Trump does is for himself. He has zero empathy and is ruthless in that regard. He will not accept the pardon as a conciliatory gesture by Biden, but rather twist the messaging to depict Biden as weak. He will say Biden and his prosecutors didn't have a case against him so they took the easy route out and pardoned him. He will cast it as a "win" for him.

    Furthermore, it will not deter him from his planned campaign to be a "shadow government" against Biden for the next four years. Trump will register as a candidate for 2024 to hold rallies and raise money, but those rallies also serve his narcissistic need for adulation from his most avid supporters. All his loyalists will take up the messaging -- Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, etc. plus many of his loyal staff and aides. It is the Trump Cult, and he will do whatever he can to keep serving them the Kool Aide. They believe everything he says. It's scary.

    Okay having said that Barack Obama did not want to waste time and energy in investigating the Cheney/Bush presidency for their actions in concocting evidence to go to war in Iraq. He was right to do that. But Bush is not in the same league as Trump. Bush went quietly to his home and became a painter. Trump cannot do that. He has to prove himself right...he plays the victim and lies better than any con artist on this planet.

    I would like to see what is behind his many actions favorable to Russia. There could be some treasonous activities there, and the only way they might be revealed is through investigations. "Trumpism" will be hard to die, but if Trump has been collaborating with Russia, it is one way to kill "Trumpism" once and for all.

    In any case, we'll get a flavor for what will happen when Biden names his Attorney General. If he wants to put out an olive branch to the Trump supporters, the course his Attorney General sets would go a long way in doing that. The only problem is that Republicans are ruthless, and will use it to their advantage the same as they did to Obama.

    My opinion...

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    Schmidt, yes an correct opinion. Thus as you said and I agree; the path forward is not an easy one, especially if we leave all our laws as they are. If Biden does not make "tax returns" mandatory by law; then for sure we get Trump or another crook back into the W.H., I guess you want that? Also do something about "super" PAC's and other "money" pushers. Just look at how an crooked bunch of lawyers and "lobbyists" prevail with pushing "nonsense" which is costing the "tax payers" hoards of money. Something is drastically wrong with our laws and you know it.

    So either an new President "DOES" something about that, or we keep moving around in the same horrible circles. That will be the end of this country and can join our S.American "banana republics" who will lay out their welcome mat.

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    Trump will have a hard time living in the legal constraints of a private citizen. Biden has to prevent Trump from parading around as a shadow president. At this point Trump still has support from his supporters for martial law. Like to know what he is talking about in Pennsylvania today.
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    Schmidt Wrote: My opinion...

    Thanks, Schmidt. I certainly have and will continue to value your opinion.

    I guess I can't help but think about this from the business school side of my brain where I had to conduct innumerable cost-benefit analyses throughout my years there. The hypothetical pardoning of Donald is a true "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenario for the President-elect.

    If Biden does pardon Donald then, as you say, he will be portrayed as weak and Donald and his echo chamber will use it as "proof" that he never did anything wrong. If the Biden Administration pursues charges against Donald and/or high-ranking members of his Administration then I fear the "cost" will far outweigh the potential "benefit" of seeing Donald in an orange jumpsuit.

    However, I envision a number of Republicans in both the House and Senate signing on to legislation that begins to peel back some of the vast powers of the Executive and put into law what up until Donald were simply norms. Don't forget they used to be the party of "small government" and I have no doubt they will suddenly find the light once again after Donald is no longer in office.

    Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith and NYU Law Professor Bob Bauer's recent book "After Trump: Reconstructing the Presidency" provided Congress and the incoming Biden Administration with a point-by-point blueprint to reform the Executive Branch without having to pass a single Constitutional Amendment.

    I also firmly believe, as I said in an earlier post, that there should be multiple investigations into these past four years so the American people are made aware of how truly dangerous and damaging Donald was to our institutions and democracy.

    Finally, I think seeing Donald getting evicted from Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago when his $421 million in debts comes due and the IRS slaps him with a $100 million fine for filing fraudulent Federal taxes would be far more satisfying than seeing him carted away to Club Fed.


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    Talking about "pardoning" ; how about fixing also the "pardon" craziness in this country; get rid of it!! Especially Presidents should not be able to pardon; only if congress etc. approve of it and is for people who were put in jail for the crimes they did not commit only. The way it is done in this country is ridiculous. Certainly Trump never should be "pardoned"; he committed at least 3 murders as well lots of people lost their lives due to incompetence and "I don't care attitude" related to the virus. In an "position" as President you should be aware of the responsibility of the job and don't just care for yourself how much money you can make of the "tax paying" people. Sorry Trump is an "mafia" boss and should be punished for his crimes.

    Unless Jared want to set an "precedent" for any President after Trump, so they can also act as Trump and also get pardoned. One word NUTS.

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    Ruth Marcus, Washington Post, November 27: Should Donald Trump be prosecuted? Proceed with caution.

    Ruth Marcus does not touch the subject of pardoning Trump, but she does point out all the pitfalls of going after a previous president for what people perceive as crimes committed while in office.

    "It’s not an easy call. Anyone who believes it to be simple is not grappling with the implications of taking the unprecedented step of lodging criminal charges against a former president. The United States is not a place, chants notwithstanding, where those in power lock up their political enemies. There is a delicate line between the pursuit of justice and indulging the urge for retribution," Marcus writes.

    "Prosecuting Trump may well be justified, but the consequences of further inflaming an already divided country ought to be sobering. A decision this momentous needs to be made on the merits and kept as far from politics as possible."

    Marcus is not saying to not investigate....only to be cautious: "Prosecutors shouldn’t have a roving commission to comb through all the outrages of the Trump administration in search of a fact pattern that fits the criminal code, and that’s a risk. But where there is enough of a predicate to open a criminal investigation, they should not be hobbled."

    Rather than pardoning Trump, which could lose Democratic Party voters wanting to see him in an orange jump suit, it might be best to leave things alone and let the process play out with the Attorney General and New York prosecutors. Once his precarious financial situation is revealed, and the banks start calling in loans (unless Putin acts as a sugar daddy to buy up his loans), people will begin to realize what a con job he has pulled on them.

    Certainly 74 million Americans voted for Trump, and they won't take kindly to Biden going after him. Somehow they have to come to the idea that Trump is a fraud on their own. They hate Democrats rubbing Trump's misdeeds in their faces. They only dig in deeper.

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    No Schmidt; so you will let him get away with everything? Half of what he has done has not seen the daylight yet; indeed just waiting means how weak we are as Democrats have become. People like him are extremely "dangerous" as his niece said many times; why does n't anyone listen? Just keep going on the same loosing "track" without "firm" rebuttal, will ruin this country forever. Shaking my old head!! I'm so amazed that the Democrats show no "backbone" at all ; they also let an Supreme Court election be done without any resistance? Are you surprised?

    Sorry to say this country lost its democratic "face" in the world.

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    Schmidt wrote: Rather than pardoning Trump, which could lose Democratic Party voters wanting to see him in an orange jump suit, it might be best to leave things alone and let the process play out with the Attorney General and New York prosecutors. Once his precarious financial situation is revealed, and the banks start calling in loans (unless Putin acts as a sugar daddy to buy up his loans), people will begin to realize what a con job he has pulled on them.

    I agree.

    If Trump is pardoned it will be twisted to be used against Biden, and if the Biden administration prosecutes Trump it will be twisted to look like political persecution, and set a precedent that a future president could use for political purposes.

    Not pardoning Trump cannot be used by Trump or the republicans against Biden, as expecting a pardon amounts to an admission of illegal acts. Also, if the public mood shifts then Trump can still be prosecuted.

    One thing that Biden can do is to shore up the Justice Department's independence, so that it can't be abused by unscrupulous US Presidents. This would also mean that if Trump were prosecuted for federal crimes it would not be Biden's doing, and hopefully would not be seen as Biden's doing or as political.

    I also think that the Presidential pardon system needs to be revamped, although I don't believe that it should be scrapped entirely, just that there need to be checks and balances added to prevent it being used for crimes committed in support of the current President against the national interest, or for nepotism or cronyism, although there need to also be mechanisms so that family or friends of the POTUS are not disadvantaged relative to strangers. I realise that this would be complicated and need careful thought.

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    I pretty much agree with Schmidt view point, Trump is always looking for the next big con and using whatever his current circumstances to spin a con that can be turned into profit and feed his ego driven addiction.

    By being elected president in 2016, he pulled off the biggest con of his life, and he wasn't really trying to win the election, and didn't expect to win. It was a self-promotional rally tour for the brand "Trump". He expected to lose in 2016 and then do exactly what is doing right now, play the victim, claim the election system was rigged against him through a mass conspiracy of voter fraud. What we are experiencing now is from his original 2016 playbook that he fully expected lose.

    As Schmidt pointed out, everything Trump does or says is about manipulating people's perceptions to his benefit. Pardoning Trump would be just another tool he would use to craft a narrative that makes him the lone hero fighting for justice.

    IMO, what Biden administration can do for the American people is find a way to nuealtize (or if you prefer, castrate) Trump so he is not the F'ing center of attention every GD day, which has been Trump #1 objective for the past 4 years, and he will attempt to over shadow Biden with everything he does and says for the next 4 years unless there is some kind of political\financial gun put his head in a very serious way that he feels its in his best interest to flee the country.

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    JD, what liberal media needs to do after Joe is in the fumigated white house is to not give Trump airtime too. What ABC, CBS, and NBC needs to do is put the new administration front and center in their news reporting, and of course, there won't be any more reports of firings by tweeting! We will possibly return to some sense of normal.

    I read a headline from the LA Times, it stated that Biden is refilling the swamp. If what they claim is true, then I'm all for it, would be better than the slimeballs we've had the last 4.

    Trump had better not set foot in New York, I got a feeling about that.

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    Trump is pathological. As soon as he's out of office, he's going to start feeling like he did in this video. Good thing he'll be toothless.
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    dishingtrump Wrote: Trump is pathological. As soon as he's out of office, he's going to start feeling like he did in this video. Good thing he'll be toothless.

    His power to harm others will be drastically reduced. To be assured, he will attempt to create a reality in the minds of his cult followers and Republican party, that he still has the power to influence who gets elected. First, and foremost, will be his forthcoming announcement that he will be spending the next 4 years running for president in 2024. This will freeze other republican candidates from attempting to run because Trump will immediately attack those republicans until they withdraw and support him... Trump's 2024 platform will be that the 2020 election was as massive conspiracy filled with voter fraud, and he'll portray himself as "Rocky" the underdog, the king of the comeback. Unless there is an organized effort (Republican, Democrats, the media, state and federal prosecutors, etc) to shut him down, he will spend the next 4 years holding 1-2 rallies each month throughout key states. In reality, he wants to spend 4 years collecting millions in campaign donations that can be used to pay off his personal debts. He will string out his next campaign for as long as possible, locking out other Republican candidates, but will he change his mind at the last minute and decide to pull out? Hard to know beyond doubt, he is very addicted to power, and still think he is unbeatable, but he will be 4 years older and could simply feel satisfied with the 4 year campaign con, and pull out of the 2024 presidential race with $10 of millions of untraceable campaign funds sitting in a foreign bank.