Mitch McConnell At Odds With Trump: Opposes Pardons For January 6 Rioters

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opposes Donald Trump’s pledge to possibly pardon some individuals who have been arrested for the January 6 riot at the Capitol, saying he’s not in favor of shortening any sentences for those who pled guilty.

McConnell (R-KY) made the comments after being prompted by a reporter who inquired about Trump’s statement.

“One hundred and sixty-five people have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior,” he said. “None of the trials have been finished yet, but 165 have pleaded guilty to criminal behavior.”

“My view is, I would not be in favor of shortening any of the sentences for any of the people who pleaded guilty to crimes,” added McConnell.

RELATED: Trump Hints That He Would Pardon January 6 Rioters If He Wins In 2024

McConnell Objects

Former President Donald Trump said that he would consider pardons for January 6 rioters should he run for and win the presidential election in 2024.

“If I run, and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” he vowed. “If that requires pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, like McConnell, almost immediately objected to the idea of issuing pardons for the Capitol rioters.

“No, I don’t want to send any signal that it was OK to defile the Capitol,” Graham said. “I think it’s inappropriate … I don’t want to do anything that would make this more likely in the future.”

RELATED: Report: George W. Bush Donating To Republicans Who Voted To Impeach Trump

Peaceful Transition Of Power

McConnell also stated that those involved in the January 6 riot should not be pardoned because they interfered in the election process.

The 2020 election was “decided on December 14 of 2020 when the Electoral College certified the winner of the election,” he said.

McConnell added that the Capitol rioters had engaged in “an effort to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another” something that had “never happened before in our country.”

McConnell, following the Capitol riot, joined Democrats in calls for impeachment according to a Fox News report at the time, telling associates that the move “will help rid the Republican Party of Trump and his movement.”

POLL: Do you side with Trump or McConnell on pardons?

By voting, you agree to receive email communication from The Political Insider. Click HERE for more information.

Trump ravaged the GOP leader in response, issuing a statement saying McConnell is “a dour, sullen and unsmiling political hack.”

In July, Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and ten House Republicans sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding to know why protesters at the Capitol had been arrested and jailed while many BLM protesters were not for their role in the race riots across America.

The letter asked Garland to explain an “inconsistent application of the law with respect to rioters across the country.”

The post Mitch McConnell At Odds With Trump: Opposes Pardons For January 6 Rioters appeared first on The Political Insider.

‘I’m in hell’: Indigenous Nations activist Leonard Peltier says of his prison conditions amid COVID

Despite the fact that it’s a crime that he’s even in federal prison, Native American rights activist Leonard Peltier is begging for help amid a COVID-19 surge keeping prisoners on unending lockdowns and without booster shots. 

“I’m in hell,” Peltier said in a statement to HuffPost, “and there is no way to deal with it but to take it as long as you can.”

Peltier, 77, has been locked-up since 1975, making him the longest-serving political prisoner in U.S. history. He suffers from diabetes and an abdominal aortic aneurysm. He says the current conditions in his high-security facility in Florida, include lack of phone access, regular showers, fresh air, and healthy food

“Left alone and without attention is like a torture chamber for the sick and old,” he said about his imprisonment in USP Coleman I.

According to Peltier’s attorney, Kevin Sharp, Peltier, along with 1,335 inmates at the facility, have been on lockdown since Jan. 11 and those on his cellblock have yet to receive their COVID-19 booster shots—long after the six-month mark. 

“In and out of lockdown last year at least meant a shower every third day, a meal beyond a sandwich wet with a little peanut butter — but now with COVID for an excuse, nothing. No phone, no window, no fresh air — no humans to gather — no love ones [sic] voice. No relief,” Peltier wrote. 

There are currently 153, 855 inmates currently in federal prisons, and although there are records regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, there are no records regarding booster shoots. 

Health experts have said since the start of the pandemic that inmate conditions are a potential petri dish for the spread of the virus as people are physically unable to separate themselves from one another.

Since the start of his decades-long incarceration, Peltier had denied being involved in a shootout with two plain-clothed FBI agents over a pair of stolen boots at the South Dakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. The shooting left two FBI agents dead and a Native American named Joe Stunz, who was shot in the head by a sniper bullet. His murder has never been investigated. 

The FBI quickly focused their investigation on prominent members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), who were camping on the property at the time. They’d been invited there by the Jumping Bull elders, to protect the Nation from the extreme violence on the reservation at that time. Peltier was an AIM member. 

Peltier’s trial was a joke. First off, the FBI agents were tied to a goon squad, something that was never introduced in court. Additionally, information about a bullet ballistics test that would have exonerated him, was also never introduced. 

Peltier was initially convicted of first-degree murder, but even though that conviction was later thrown out, his sentence was upheld for aiding and abetting a murder. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Reynolds, who upheld the conviction, and the federal Appeals Court judge who rejected his early appeals, have both since called for his release along with a plethora of high-powered names—Pope Francis, The Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Robert Redford, Wes Studi, Tantoo Cardinal, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Marlon Brando, among many others.

“I write today from a position rare for a former prosecutor: to beseech you to commute the sentence of a man who I helped put behind bars,” Reynolds wrote in July. “With time and the benefit of hindsight, I have realized that the prosecution and continued incarceration of Mr. Peltier was and is unjust. We were not able to prove that Mr. Peltier personally committed any offense on the Pine Ridge Reservation.”

Peltier’s entire testimony was given from people who had been threated or intimidated by the FBI, and they have made sure that he will never see the light of day.

Peltier had a chance for release in 2009, but it would have meant admitting to the murder of two FBI agents, and he refused. His parole was then denied. 

“Whatever punishment was meant to be meted out to Leonard has been done. It’s done,” Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva told HuffPost. “The fact that he has held to his innocence shouldn’t be a reason to deny this. He has been consistent about his position from the beginning ― from being arrested to incarcerated to this day.”

Peltier’s attorney Kevin Sharp told the Tennessee Lookout that his client’s release all comes down to politics and fear of retribution from the FBI. 

“In order to get clemency, you have to get the FBI on board. They have an inherent conflict. You have to get the U.S. Attorney’s Office on board. They lied to get him in prison. They have an inherent conflict. They’re not going to say, ‘Oops, sorry,” Sharp told HuffPost. 

Former President Bill Clinton considered clemency, but after surviving his own impeachment hearings, he wouldn’t have wanted to step out and go toe-to-toe with the FBI. Then former President Barack Obama was given Peltier’s case for review and he refused to oppose the FBI. Even former President Donald Trump considered the case but ultimately punted it. 

Peltier’s last chance for clemency is from President Joe Biden. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions supporting his release and with Deb Haaland, the first Indigenous Cabinet Secretary, leading the Interior Department, there’s a sliver of hope to save Peltier from dying in prison. 

Haaland has been a vocal advocate for Peltier’s case, along with Petuuche Gilbert, president of Indigenous World Association; Norman Patrick Brown, who was among one of the young persons who survived the June 26, 1975 shootout; human rights advocate, Eda Gordon; and Lenny Foster, Peltier’s Spiritual Advisor of over 30 years who is Board member of the International Indian Treaty Council and American Indian Movement.

Even Reynolds has pleaded with Biden to grant Peltier clemency as a step toward healing  “the broken relationship” between Native Americans and the U.S. government.

“I urge you to chart a different path in the history of the government’s relationship with its Native people through a show of mercy rather than continued indifference,” he said. “I urge you to take a step towards healing a wound that I had a part in making.”

In October, Grijalva led 10 House Democrats in a letter to the president and Attorney General Merrick Garland beseeching him to expedite Peltier’s release and grant him clemency amid his deteriorating health, his age, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Where are our human rights activists? You are hearing from me, and with me, many desperate men and women! They are turning an already harsh environment into an asylum, and for many who did not receive a death penalty, we are now staring down the face of one! Help me, my brothers and sisters, help me my good friends,” Peltier writes.

To learn more about Peltier’s case, go to Leonard’s Defense Committee’s website www.whoisleonardpeltier.info transcripts and other archival material.

Rapper Lil Wayne Sends Thanks To President Trump For Presidential Pardon 

On Thursday, rapper Lil Wayne thanked Donald Trump for including him on the list of 100-plus pardons issued as the former president exited the White House this week.

Lil Wayne thanked him for “recognizing that I have so much more to give to my family, my art, and my community.”

RELATED: House Republicans Call For Cheney’s Removal From GOP Conference Chair After Impeachment Vote

Lil Wayne: ‘I Want To Thank President Trump’

The Grammy Award winner and famous Green Bay Packers fan sent a grateful message to President Trump.

“I want to thank President Trump for recognizing that I have so much more to give to my family, my art, and my community. I also want to thank @bradfordcohen for working so diligently to secure another chance for me. Love!”

The rapper signed his message using his full legal name, Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.

Wayne had praised Trump’s “Platinum Plan for Black Americans” during Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign, an effort to revitalize and create job growth for black communities.

In November 2020, the rapper was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon for flying with a firearm and ammunition.

Trump Also Pardoned Rapper Kodak Black

Lil Wayne’s attorney, Howard Srebnick, told the Associated Press at the time, “Carter is charged with possessing a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane.”

“There is no allegation that he ever fired it, brandished it, used it or threatened to use it,” Srebnick added. “There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person.”

RELATED: Rand Paul Begs Biden To Reassure Us He Won’t ‘Radically Transform The Country Into Some Sort Of Socialist Dystopia’

In October, Wayne said that he had a “great meeting” with Trump and praised him for being a Republican who had actually made outreach efforts to black Americans.  

Trump also commuted the sentence of Rapper Kodak Black, who remained in federal prison for “making a false statement to buy a firearm.” 

Black thanked Trump on Twitter.

“I Want To Thank The President @RealDonaldTrump For His Commitment To Justice Reform And Shortening My Sentence. I Also Want To Thank Everyone For Their Support And Love. It Means More Than You Will Ever Know. I Want To Continue Giving Back, Learning And Growing,” the rapper tweeted.

The post Rapper Lil Wayne Sends Thanks To President Trump For Presidential Pardon  appeared first on The Political Insider.

Can Trump pardon himself? Arguably no, but that doesn’t mean he won’t try it

We know that at least since 2017, Trump has been consumed with one question: Can he grant himself a pardon? "One former White House official said Trump asked about self-pardons as well as pardons for his family. Trump even asked if he could issue pardons preemptively for things people could be charged with in the future, the former official said," CNN reported earlier this month. The former official told CNN: "Once he learned about it, he was obsessed with the power of pardons. […] I always thought he also liked it because it was a way to do a favor." One important note here: He could only pardon himself or others for federal crimes, and he has no coverage for the state crimes of the Trump Organization, which is being investigated by both the New York attorney general and the Manhattan district attorney.

But there's another question, and that’s whether the Constitution actually does allow a presidential self-pardon. This is a fun read in The Atlantic from constitutional law professor Eric L. Muller a the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, pondering whether Trump can pardon himself for all his past and potentially future crimes. What makes it fun is that Muller argues he has no power to do that because of one simple word: "Article II of the Constitution says that the president 'shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.' Did you catch that? The president has the power not to pardon people, but ‘to grant … Pardons [emphasis added]. So the question is not whether Trump can pardon himself. It's whether he can grant himself a pardon.”

Muller goes on to argue that the word "grant" and all its uses throughout the Constitution are quite clear: It's transitive "from one entity to another." Okay, but that's just his interpretation. What about—as is all the rage amongst the Federalist Society gang who would certainly be down with Trump doing whatever the hell he wanted—the "original public meaning" of the word grant and how the founders would have interpreted it? Muller looks to the most popular law dictionary in use at the time, which simply defines grant as a noun: a "conveyance in writing of incorporeal things." And what is a "conveyance?" It is "a deed which passes or conveys land from one man to another."

What it all boils down to after a really fun lexicographic romp is that just like you can't surrender to yourself, Trump can't give himself a grant of pardon; it has to be conferred by another. "Can Donald Trump grant himself a pardon? The evidence, at least according to the text of the Constitution and its original meaning, says no," Muller concludes.

Which puts Trump in an interesting position. At this point he is committed to not conceding. His whole post-presidency period is being set up to allow him to continue to bilk the rubes who adore him out of their hard-earned dollars on the premise that he is still the rightful president and that the office was stolen from him. So in order to achieve that, he has to stay in office until Jan. 20. But he can't be immune from future prosecution unless he gets the pardon. To do that, he'd have to resign and have Mike Pence do the deed. But he'd then be ceding the office, ceding his claim. What a dilemma!

There's the possibility that he could say he was temporarily incapacitated at some point, put Pence in as acting president for long enough to wave the magic wand, and then be president again. But that would also mean he would have to admit to having done federal criming, something he has vociferously denied having done while publicly musing on Twitter about how he could totally pardon himself if he wants to.  

As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2018

If nothing else, it's an intriguing question to ponder in the off hours. Largely because it gives one the opportunity to imagine Donald Trump behind bars.

Congressman Matt Gaetz: Trump Should Pardon Himself

Congressman Matt Gaetz believes President Trump should consider a pardon for himself and others in his administration as a means to fend off the radical left.

Gaetz made the comments during an appearance with Fox News personality Laura Ingraham earlier this week.

“President Trump should pardon Michael Flynn. He should pardon the Thanksgiving turkey,” he said. “He should pardon everyone from himself to his administration officials to Joe Exotic if he has to.”

While those comments were seemingly lighthearted, what lies on the horizon when President Trump leaves office – whether in 2021 or 2025 – is anything but.

“You see from the radical left a bloodlust that will only be quenched if they come after the people who worked so hard to animate the Trump administration with the policies and the vigor and the effectiveness that delivered for the American people,” Gaetz explained.

RELATED: Trump Snaps At ‘Lightweight’ Reporter: ‘Don’t Ever Talk to the President That Way’

Matt Gaetz Says Trump Should Pardon Himself

Despite a media and resistance party heavily invested in portraying President Trump as a criminal, it is important to note he has never been charged with a crime.

That said, there is actually legal precedence for granting such pardons.

The Washington Post reports:

In Ex parte Garland, the Supreme Court settled the question of preemptive pardons. The justices in that 1866 case decided that while pardons could reach only past acts, the pardon “may be exercised at any time after [the act’s] commission, either before legal proceedings are taken or during their pendency or after conviction and judgment.”

They go on to note that Abraham Lincoln pardoned dozens of people preemptively.

Perhaps most famously, President Gerald Ford pardoned President Richard Nixon, who had not been charged with anything at the time.

Would Joe Biden be willing to tamp down the fires of controversy in America by doing the same for Trump? 

Self-pardons have been an issue of much debate during President Trump’s tenure.

Law scholar Jonathan Turley has argued that the President has the right to do so.

“There is no language specifying who may or may not be the subject of a pardon,” he wrote in a USA Today column. “The president is simply given the power to pardon any federal crime.”

“As a textual matter, there is nothing to prevent Trump from adding his own name to the list of pardoned individuals.”

RELATED: Media’s Biased Coverage of the Election May Have Handed the Presidency to Biden

The Radical Left Will Never Stop

Signs of the ‘bloodlust’ Gaetz references have already been seen as Biden has been declared President-elect.

Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) demanded a thorough investigation and prosecution of the President and members of his administration.

Despite mentioning the phrase “many crimes,” Pascrell’s statement references none, instead making vague allusions to ‘profiting from his office’ and ‘endangering national security.’

Which, incidentally, he may want to draft a statement about the President-elect since evidence regarding his son Hunter’s business dealings with China seem to indicate actual guilt in such accusations.

Additionally, actor Rob Reiner says that a “non-partisan commission” should be created to investigate Trump after he leaves office to “restore faith in our Constitution and the Rule of Law.”

As for the pardon power – federal pardons issued by the president apply only to federal law; they do not apply to civil, state, or local offenses. And New York prosecutors have been harassing the Trump family for years now.

Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, recently called them “ruthless” and accused them of “harassment, pure and simple.”

It is harassment and the harassment, quite clearly, is never going to stop.

The post Congressman Matt Gaetz: Trump Should Pardon Himself appeared first on The Political Insider.

Schiff Comes Unglued Over Reports Of Flynn Pardon – Says Trump ‘Acting Like An Organized Crime Figure’

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) came unglued on Wednesday over reports that President Donald Trump is considering pardoning former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Back in 2017, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts he had with Russia, but he later attempted to withdraw this plea, according to The Hill.

Schiff Unravels 

While appearing on CNN’s “New Day,” Schiff accused Trump of “acting like an organized crime figure” because he feels that the president is trying to reward people who lie for him.

“It would send a message that at least as far as President Trump is concerned, if you lie on his behalf, if you cover up for him, he will reward you,” Schiff said. “He will protect you, but only if he thinks it’s in his interest.”

“There are others that lied for him that he’s not going to extend that kind of service to, but it just, frankly reflects so ill on our democracy, on the United States,” he added.

“Imagine what people around the world think when we have a president who’s acting like an organized crime figure,” Schiff continued. “But this is who Donald Trump is. It’s who he was on the way into the presidency. It will be exactly who he is on his last days of the presidency.”

RELATED: Hunter Biden Associate Bobulinski Says He Came Forward Because Schiff Accused Him Of Peddling Russian Disinformation

Schiff Admits Trump Could Legally Pardon Flynn

Despite this rant, Schiff could not deny that legally Trump has every right to pardon Flynn, “assuming that it’s not on the basis of some illicit quid pro quo.” However, the Democrat made a point of adding that he does not believe that Trump can pardon himself.

“There are other limitations on the pardon power, but it is very broad and subject to abuse as he has demonstrated,” Schiff said.

RELATED: President Trump Unleashed: ‘Watermelon Head’ Adam Schiff ‘Should Be Locked Up’

Schiff was one of the Democrats who led the impeachment witch hunt charge against Trump during his presidency. That’s why it would not be surprising if he’s planning to lead yet another witch hunt effort against Trump and those close to him, once the president leaves office.

The hatred Schiff has for President Trump remains nothing short of disturbing.

This piece was written by James Samson on November 25, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

Read more at LifeZette:
Robert De Niro Warns Trump Supporters That They ‘Should Be Afraid Of What’s Gonna Happen’ When He Leaves Office
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein Steps Down As Head Of Judiciary Committee After Backlash From Progressives
Dershowitz Slams Dominion Ploy And Trump’s Chances

The post Schiff Comes Unglued Over Reports Of Flynn Pardon – Says Trump ‘Acting Like An Organized Crime Figure’ appeared first on The Political Insider.