Anonymously-sourced reports from recent weeks have alleged that President Donald Trump has offered up pardons to any official who may run afoul of the law while implementing his immigration agenda.
Trump has, of course, dismissed those reports as “fake news,” but House Democrats, intent on using whatever means possible to impeach Trump, have seized on the potential pardon promise — and they’re running with it for all it’s worth.
Nadler issues subpoenas
Politico reported that the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas on Wednesday demanding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to turn over any and all documents connected to Trump’s alleged offers of pardons.
“The Framers did not envision the use of the presidential pardon power to encourage criminal acts at the president’s direction,” committee chair Jerry Nadler (D) said in a statement.
He went on: “As the committee continues its investigation into whether to recommend articles of impeachment, it is imperative that we are able to obtain information about ongoing presidential misconduct and abuses of power.”
It is worth noting that Nadler’s committee was already investigating potential improprieties by President Trump for allegedly offering pardons to allies during the course of the Robert Mueller-led special counsel investigation.
With committee hearings scheduled in the coming months about Trump’s supposed obstruction of justice during Mueller’s probe, Nadler said the “troubling pattern of obstruction of justice would represent a continuation of the misconduct identified in the Mueller report.”
Mueller’s report mentioned, but didn’t exactly prove, that Trump had allegedly offered pardons to Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen in a bid to prevent their cooperation with investigators — pardons that have yet to be issued and seem increasingly unlikely.
Democrats make pardons their priority
Now, the prevailing rumor on pardons revolves around the immigration issue, with Trump purportedly holding out potential pardons as an encouragement to various officials to press forward with his agenda, despite any laws or regulations that may stand in the way.
The Washington Post recently reported — citing anonymous sources, of course — that Trump had offered pardons to officials working on the border wall who were concerned about eminent domain issues and environmental regulations slowing up progress.
This is all rather ridiculous, and a waste of valuable time when there remains an infinite number of more important issues that require Congress’ immediate attention.
Regardless, Democrats are searching for any conceivable way to successfully impeach Trump, so everything else has been placed on the back burner while that particular unicorn is chased in the House of Representatives. What a shame.