Trump Retweets Idiotic Rant About Obama’s ‘Pardons’ – Proves His Own Stupidity In Epic Backfire
Trump Retweets Right-Wing Pundit’s Rant About Obama’s ‘Pardons’. The Deflection? Yeah… It Didn’t Work
This analogy might only work for those of us who grew up with siblings, but, remember when you were a kid and you got in trouble for doing something you definitely knew you weren’t supposed to do? Remember how you then attempted to deflect by reminding your parents about some similar thing one of your siblings did? Remember how that didn’t work?
America’s oldest, tallest, and grumpiest toddler, Donald Trump, is learning that lesson today. Well, perhaps “learning” isn’t the best word to use there. But he’s certainly attempting to deflect from his own terrible pardon by pointing toward questionable pardons his predecessor gave. There’s just one problem: they weren’t actually pardons.
On Monday, Trump retweeted Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich, who inaccurately referenced two occasions where former President Barack Obama commuted sentences, claiming Obama had issued pardons.
Pavlich was responding to former National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who on Friday had attacked Trump’s God-awful pardon of former Arizona Sheriff and perpetual jerkwad Joe Arpaio.
Obama used his pardon and commutation power to give a second chance to people who deserved empathy, not racists who showed none. https://t.co/KXhBQk5MHu
— Ben Rhodes (@brhodes) August 26, 2017
Pavlich responded Saturday, making inaccurate arguments regarding Obama having commuted the sentences of Chelsea Manning and Oscar Lopez Rivera.
Your boss pardoned a traitor who gave U.S. enemies state secrets, he also pardoned a terrorist who killed Americans. Spare us the lecture. https://t.co/90jZcPXYqx
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) August 27, 2017
Trump Can’t Tell The Difference Between A Commutation And A Pardon? SAD!
Trump retweeted Pavlich’s message on Monday in a rather obvious attempt to show the world that his pardoning Joe Arpaio wasn’t as terrible as the things Obama did while he was in office. there’s just one problem, of course: Pavlich, and now Trump by extension, are both dead wrong.
Manning gave classified information to WikiLeaks. Some Americans love WikiLeaks while others loathe them, but to classify WikiLeaks as a “U.S. Enemy” as Pavlich did, likening them to state actors like North Korea or Iran, is a bit of a stretch. But hey, some Americans hate WikiLeaks, and they have arguments supporting why they feel that way, so sure, we’ll allow it.
What about Rivera? Is he really “A terrorist who killed Americans,” as Pavlich described? No. Oscar Lopez Rivera was affiliated with the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, or the Armed Forces of National Liberation (“FALN” for short). He was charged in 1981 with seditious conspiracy. He was never charged for any participation in terrorism or terrorist acts, nor has he ever been charged for or even accused of murder. So no, Rivera is not “a terrorist who killed Americans.”
That’s not to say Manning or Rivera were good people. They both served hard time, Manning for seven years and Rivera for 35. But Barack Obama never actually pardoned either of them. Instead, he commuted their sentences.
In legal terms, a commutation and a pardon are two entirely different things. When a president offers a pardon, it means they are forgiving that person for the crime they’ve committed. It effectively clears the various civil disabilities that come with having a criminal record.
When Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, he effectively wiped away Arpaio’s crime. Arpaio will not go to prison for violating the fourth amendment rights of Americans and racially profiling them. He can vote, he can serve on a jury, and he can run for office… something Arpaio is apparently considering, by the way.
A commutation, on the other hand, has no impact whatsoever on civil disabilities. All it does is end and/ or shorten a prisoner’s sentence, often freeing them from prison and little else. But they’re still considered an ex-convict. They can’t hold office and they can’t serve on a jury. And when they’re looking for a new job, they need to check that ridiculous box warning potential employers of their criminal past.
It’s understandable and excusable if you, as a civilian who isn’t a legal expert, did not fully understand the differences between commutations and pardons prior to reading this article. But Donald Trump is sitting in the highest office in all the land. He recently issued a pardon of his own. If Trump can’t tell the differences between a pardon and a commutation, and if he doesn’t fully comprehend and appreciate what those two things mean and how exactly they’re different, he shouldn’t be sitting in the Oval Office right now. I suppose we can safely add this to the long list of reasons why Donald Trump should not be President.
Featured image courtesy of Patrick Smith/ Getty Images
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Matt Terzi is a political satirist and essayist from Binghamton, New York, who has written for some of the most prominent satire publications in the country. He’s now moving into more “serious” subject matter, without losing touch with his comedic roots