Again, you may disagree with 90-95 percent of his takes, but Michael Tracey, a liberal reporter, has been calling out his side’s Russian collusion hysteria from day one. He and Glenn Greenwald, formerly of The Intercept, have been some of the original collusion skeptics which have driven progressives insane. Like conservative media, they noted the lack of evidence in this media-manufactured myth about Kremlin collusion with the Trump team during the 2016 election. They also pointed out how every “bombshell” turned out to be a nothingburger. And how utterly unhinged some people devolved over the past three years due to this story. To this day, there isn’t one solid shred of evidence to back up the Russian collusion myth.
It’s a hoax pushed by Democrats, the liberal media, and some in the intelligence community to hamstring Trump and possibly remove him from office. It was a lie. The best part of this long, sad tale of media malfeasance is the so-called bombshells themselves. The headline would be damning, but three paragraphs in—you saw a pattern. If the piece was not anonymously sourced, there was always that one sentence that made the story into a non-story. In fact, almost every “bombshell” included some portion where there was an admission that there was zero evidence to support the headline of the piece. Why? Well, because Trump-Russia collusion never happened. Let’s circle back to The New York Times’ 2017 piece about Trump officials having contact with Russian intelligence officials. This is what got the ball rolling.
“Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials,” they wrote. But then, they said, “The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”
This was the vicious cycle we endured for the past three years. Oh, and then there was the Mueller investigation, which engaged in atrocious prosecutorial overreach, especially against Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair. In fact, this whole investigation with Mueller appears to be just a Department of Justice maneuver to legitimize and clear up the mess left in the wake of the fiasco that was the FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Russian collusion that involved love birds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
So, when Trump pardoned Manafort and Stone this week, the liberal media went nuts, but not Tracey.
The presidential pardon power was always applied with pristine ethics and discernment before Trump came along. So sad for our country!— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 24, 2020
People of disreputable character can be said to have been "victimized" by overzealous, ill-founded prosecutions. Occurs on a regular basis. This just happened to be a high profile example that was mindlessly cheered on by the media/activist class for short-term political reasons https://t.co/0bIHlVCagI— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 24, 2020
Manafort's conviction wasn't some pure-hearted triumph over endemic political corruption, it was a triumph of using prosecutorial fishing expeditions to create a public spectacle that would deflect from the fact that the Mueller investigation was predicated on nonsense fantasies— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 24, 2020
Most pundits in good standing still think the main problem with the Mueller investigation is that it didn't go far enough to uncover the collusion conspiracy. That pardons could be warranted because the investigation itself was flawed would never in a million years occur to them— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 24, 2020
Alright so now the idea is that Trump pardoned Stone and Manafort as payback for not confessing to a collusion conspiracy that didn’t exist. Makes perfect sense— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 24, 2020
Manafort was thrown in solitary confinement as leverage to elicit a confession of a collusion conspiracy that didn’t exist, so I think a pardon is defensible under the circumstances— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) December 24, 2020
“Manafort's conviction wasn't some pure-hearted triumph over endemic political corruption,” he wrote. “It was a triumph of using prosecutorial fishing expeditions to create a public spectacle that would deflect from the fact that the Mueller investigation was predicated on nonsense fantasies.”
He added, “most pundits in good standing still think the main problem with the Mueller investigation is that it didn't go far enough to uncover the collusion conspiracy. That pardons could be warranted because the investigation itself was flawed would never in a million years occur to them.”
Oh, and then we have this historically illiterate take that the pardon power only got corrupted when Trump became president. Since Thomas Jefferson, the pardon power has been “abused” if you want to describe it that way.
Even liberal law professor Jonathan Turley rolled his eyes when Stone was initially granted a commutation by Trump and the CNN universe thought this was some corrupt bargain:
Thomas Jefferson pardoned Erick Bollman for violations of the Alien and Sedition Act in the hope that he would testify against rival Aaron Burr for treason. Andrew Jackson stopped the execution of George Wilson in favor of a prison sentence, despite the long record Wilson had as a train robber, after powerful friends intervened with Jackson. Wilson surprised everyone by opting to be hanged anyway. However, Wilson could not hold a candle to Ignazio Lupo, one of the most lethal mob hitmen who was needed back in New York during a mafia war. With the bootlegging business hanging in the balance, Warren Harding, who along with his attorney general, Harry Daugherty, was repeatedly accused of selling pardons, decided to pardon Lupo on the condition that he be a “law abiding” free citizen.
Franklin Roosevelt also pardoned political allies, including Conrad Mann, who was a close associate of Kansas City political boss Tom Pendergast. Pendergast made a fortune off illegal alcohol, gambling, and graft, and helped send Harry Truman into office. Truman also misused this power, including pardoning the extremely corrupt George Caldwell, who was a state official who skimmed massive amounts of money off government projects, like a building fund for Louisiana State University.
Richard Nixon was both giver and receiver of controversial pardons. He pardoned Jimmy Hoffa after the Teamsters Union leader had pledged to support his reelection bid.
Right or wrong, it doesn’t matter. This is a presidential power. It’s an explicit power. And it’s been used to pardon/commute people far more reprobative than Stone, Manafort, Flynn, or anyone whose lives were targeted in this Russian collusion hoax.
Incoming President Joe Biden will probably pardon his son, Hunter. Just wait.