While counting his days at the White House, President Donald Trump has been busy giving presidential pardons to people who are close to him. President Donald Trump granted 49 commutations and labeled them as a Christmas gift. That added up the number of other pardons that he has issued in his early days.
These decisions have been criticized by many while some of the critics have expressed outrage at this practice as they believe that being the commander in chief, he has the responsibility to uphold the Constitution.
According to the Democratic communication consultant Spencer Critchley, leaders in power often make the decisions they feel are right for the time being. He also expressed his views on the clemency decision made by presidents and said that history tells us that presidents have pardoned individuals in the past who they believe were wrongly treated by the justice system.
However, Donald Trump has mostly pardoned people close to him or those who have played an instrumental role in helping him win the presidency. He has pardoned a lot of people on humanitarian grounds including George Papadopoulos who aid the Trump campaign in 2016, and Congressman Duncan Hunter, another former Congressman. They both were also convicted in the felonies of wounding 17 and killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007 at Baghdad Nisour Square.
Not only Donald Trump, but the history of the US is overflowing with such presidential pardons that are given due to personal relationships. This is because Article II of the Constitution actually grants the president “power to absolution and pardon for the offenses that were made against the United States.”
After eight years of the landmark convention, two men were granted presidential pardoned by George Washington, who masterminded the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania. He also absolved the other felons for the same crime in 1797 when he was spending his last days in the office.
The history doesn’t end up with George Washington as President Thomas Jefferson also pardoned the offenders who were convicted under the 1798 Sedition Act in 1800. The more you dig, the more you will realize that history is filled with such examples.