Personally engaged with the details

Trump is working hard on those pardons. Not the pandemic, not the vaccination program, not telling Putin to release Navalny, not helping with the investigations of the insurrection he made happen, but with mostly corrupt pardons.

On Sunday, Trump met his son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump and senior advisers to thrash out a lengthy list of pardon requests, the Washington Post reported. The meeting took up much of the day. The president was personally engaged with the details of every case, it said.

With a normal president that wouldn’t need saying. With Trump it’s so rare as to need saying.

CNN reported on Monday that the final batch of clemency actions was expected to feature criminal justice reform-minded pardons as well as more controversial ones for allies and friends. Lobbyists have been pushing for months to include their clients on Trump’s valedictory list.

That’s why I said mostly corrupt.

On Sunday the New York Times reported on intensive lobbying for pardons as the Trump era draws to a close. Among startling details, an unnamed associate of Giuliani reportedly told an ex-CIA officer a pardon was “going to cost $2m”.

Gotta pay for all that ice cream somehow.

Participants in the Capitol riot have appealed directly – via television or their lawyers – for pardons from Trump. On Sunday Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a key Trump ally, appealed to the president directly, telling him not to pardon anyone associated with the attack.

“There are a lot of people urging the president to pardon the folks who participated in defiling the Capitol, the rioters,” he told Fox Business.

“I don’t care if you went there and spread flowers on the floor. You breached the security of the Capitol. You interrupted a joint session of Congress. You tried to intimidate us all. You should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and to seek a pardon of these people would be wrong. I think it would destroy President Trump, and I hope we don’t go down that road.”

When it affects him suddenly Lindsey Graham can find his backbone. Beat up those pesky black protesters all you want, but when it comes to Lindsey Graham’s workplace, whoa now, that’s a whole other kettle of crayfish.

45 hours and 44 minutes.

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