Intensifying the speculation President Trump could also pardon General Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort, Fox News reports on Tuesday that the president will pardon former NYC Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was sentenced on tax fraud charges in 2010.
He also will also commute the sentence of former Democrat Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who is serving time for trying to sell the Senate seat of Barack Obama when Obama was elected president.
These acts will prompt further Democrat charges of favoritism and presidential interference in the justice process. But those charges may fall flat in the sympathy for a man leaving prison and because of the regard Kerik still has in the law enforcement community.
This could open the door to a pardon of General Mike Flynn before he is sentenced. The president could also pardon his former campaign associate Paul Manafort. But that may prove more controversial because of Manafort’s Ukrainian connection.
Down the road, if convicted and sentenced, Roger Stone could also see a presidential pardon. But the mercurial and show boating Stone, given his penchant for theatrics and melodrama, could nip that in the bud with his behavior during his trial.
Democrats could try to make this an issue in the fall campaign. However, past presidential pardons were short-lived controversies and did not damage presidential standing. The only exception may be President Ford’s pardoning of former president Richard Nixon.