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Maybe President Trump Should Pardon His Enemies

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

In the months leading up to the election, I was among the many conservatives who held out hope that federal prosecutor John Durham would get some indictments or at least release a report detailing the abuses of power the Obama administration and a cabal of deep-staters perpetrated against the Trump campaign and administration. It was not to be, for whatever reason. Since it’s unlikely to ever bring about any semblance of justice, President Trump should avail himself of all tools at his disposal to dispense as close to justice as we can get.


You’d think an investigation over the course of almost two years would be able to come to some kind of conclusion, one way or the other, but that seems less likely now. Maybe Durham found nothing, or maybe he’s faced obstruction; without indictments or at least a report, we’ll likely never know what was found.

But we do know what these people did. We know the Obama administration authorized spying on the Trump campaign and transition, we know the FBI lied to the FISA Court in order to legalize that spying. We know evidence contradicting liberal’s claims was withheld from the court in order to keep those FISA warrants going. And, even though they claim they had no idea they were signing off on warrants with incomplete and false information in them, these people are, or at least were supposed to be, responsible for the information in them.

The whole affair was either one of malice or gross incompetence, with either option irrelevant to the illegality of the action itself. It doesn’t matter if you broke the law deliberately or because you’re too stupid or lazy to notice, you broke the law.

Since those responsible have all moved on to lucrative cable news and book deals, firing them isn’t an option. And it is becoming clearer by the day that no legal ramifications are coming their way.


I say this with no joy and full knowledge that, as I wrote this, Attorney General Bill Barr announced that back in October he’d made Durham a Special Counsel. This gives some people hope, but it should not.

Sure, if Biden fired Durham while he was investigating his friends, potential administration employees, and possibly even him there would be outrage from conservatives, but who really cares about that? The people who’d point out the hypocrisy of leftists threatening to impeach President Trump over even having the thought to fire Robert Mueller would collectively amount to nothing. The people pushing to hold Biden to the same standard Democrats held Trump to would be ignored. The only people who’d notice are those of us who are already opposed to him. Fox News would report on it, but that’s preaching to the choir.

It’s a nice gesture, making Durham a Special Counsel, but futile in the end. If he doesn’t have anything by now, if he needs time beyond January 20, he’s wasting everyone’s time.

Even if he filed charges, if he got a grand jury to indict someone who deserved it, do you really think a Biden AG would prosecute that case? There would be delay after delay, lulling anyone not seriously following the case into completely forgetting about it. Then, on a long holiday weekend, they’d announce they’re dropping the charges. By the following Monday it would be like it never happened.


Pardons, on the other hand, are forever.

Yes, pardons can be refused. In 1833, George Wilson refused a presidential pardon, winning the right to do so in the Supreme Court, and was hanged. But the only cases in which pardons were refused involved people either convicted or was facing possible charges. Wilson was executed, and a newspaper editor in 1915, who also rejected a pardon, was ultimately held in contempt of court. Those are about the only examples of people refusing pardons. 

The editor, George Burdick, refused a preemptive pardon from Woodrow Wilson in an attempt to get him to testify in a corruption case.

Both of those cases involved crimes that were working their way through the legal system, that is not the case with the possible Trump pardons. There are no convictions or charges, and likely nothing coming down the line. There would be no mechanism to affirm their refusal.

The pardon would follow them, along with the knowledge of their alleged crimes recorded, in painful and explicit detail in the pardon, the public record, for the rest of time.

Is the idea of preemptive pardons childish? Perhaps, or even probably. But the people behind “Crossfire Hurricane” should not be allowed to get away with it scot-free. Since they are very likely about to, I think this might be the best way to ensure they at least get some of the stench they very much deserve for their actions. If you’ve got a better idea, I’m all ears.  


Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.

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