By: Oliver Angert (Reporter ‘24)
Recently, it has come to light that the Justice Department is investigating yet another scandal involving the Trump administration. The allegations are that people offered substantial financial contributions to the president’s campaign in exchange for a pardon from any committed or future crimes. As you may know the president has the power to pardon any criminal. Here, the concept is that if you bribe the president with money, he will pardon you for any crimes you have committed. Although this is considered to be an obvious subversion of justice, many people in his cabinet and administration, past and present, have committed crimes. Nobody has yet been charged in this investigation, and it has undoubtedly had little impact on the president, who labeled the entire investigation as “Fake News.” For any other president, this would be considered an incredible breach of conduct, but for the current president, it is somehow more normal than if he had said nothing.
Donald Trump has pardoned people for little to no reason before. He pardoned Michael Flynn, who was the National Security Advisor for 22 days, even though Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI, something that the president should find concerning. He also pardoned Roger Stone, a corporate lobbyist, who was convicted of witness tampering, obstruction, and making of false statements. There was no reason to commute his already lightened sentence of 40 months. In fact, it was recommended to be 7-9 years, until the Department of Justice stepped in. Additionally, there is the fact that Roger Stone is the president’s friend and his crimes benefitted the president.
The current investigation has not produced the names of any specific individuals yet. A Justice Department official said this: “No government official was or is currently a subject or target of the investigation disclosed in this filing.” This investigation is still in its early stages, so any more information will be coming in slowly over the coming months. It does seem like this is just another scandal that is going to be ignored as soon as a newer, even worse scandal is publicized. This is just one of the seemingly blatant illegal, immoral, events in quick succession in the White House. As we are nearing the end of Trump’s term, this could be his last scandal, (although I doubt it) and it is a fitting end.