News & Politics

Democrats Didn’t Care When Obama Granted Clemency to a Terrorist, But Want to Investigate Trump’s Pardons

(Aude Guerrucci/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images)

Trump can’t seem to even breathe without Democrats wanting to launch an investigation or expressing outrage. The recent commutation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s prison sentence is the most recent thing to trigger Democrats. “Today, Trump granted clemency to tax cheats, Wall Street crooks, billionaires, and corrupt government officials,” tweeted Bernie Sanders. “Meanwhile thousands of poor and working-class kids sit in jail for nonviolent drug convictions. This is what a broken and racist criminal justice system looks like.”

But Democrats aren’t just expressing faux outrage over Trump using his presidential clemency power. According to Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), his party plans to investigate Trump’s commutations and pardons.

“I mean, we will, of course, I expect, have hearings on this,” he told CNN. “There’s a process that the president is expected to follow in granting pardons or granting clemency. We’ll try to bring attention to this issue on behalf of the American people. We will continue to do oversight.”

Oversight? I think “harassment” would be a better word. We’re way beyond oversight at this point, considering all the bogus investigations that Democrats have had against Trump. The most absurd comment Cicilline made was when he said, “I think past presidents have used restraint,” with the use of clemency powers.

Really?

Was it really restraint when Obama commuted the sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera? Lopez Rivera was a leader of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), a Puerto Rican terrorist group responsible for 130 attacks in the United States, and at least six deaths. An unrepentant Lopez-Rivera was serving a 70-year sentence when Obama set him free. Democrats showed no outrage at this commutation.

And what about when Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning (you may also know him as Chelsea), who leaked hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks? A traitor in every sense, in 2013 Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. But, Bradley Manning became a hero of the political left for declaring himself to be transgender, and Obama made this controversial commutation days before leaving office. Was this “restraint” or pandering to the LGBT lobby?

Obama also granted clemency to hundreds of drug offenders he claimed were non-violent offenders who deserved a second chance, because of racism or something. It later came out that many of the people he released were actually violent offenders guilty of gun crimes. Obama granted more acts of clemency than any president since Truman, though he saved much of that executive use of power for the latter months and days of his presidency.

So, yeah, can we stop pretending that Democrats actually care about the rule of law, fairness and equal justice? All they want to do is investigate Trump for everything he does, hoping to find some crime to pin on him.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis