The media is all abuzz about the pardon of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and there is a great deal of speculation that President Trump will provide more pardons and commutations in the days to come.
The media has argued that Trump’s pardon efforts have been unusual compared to that of other Presidents. However, his actions are modest compared to the likes of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. So far, Trump has provided 45.
In comparison Bill Clinton provided ten times more than that with 456. Meanwhile, Obama’s numbers are astonishing. It has been reported of Obama’s efforts that “of the acts of clemency, 1715 were commutations (including 504 life sentences) and 212 were pardons.”
Former Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) is someone many believe is on President’s radar screen for a commutation or pardon. The charges against Stockman — serving a ten year sentence since 2017 — are odd. When one looks at the case against him, he was essentially overly optimistic about how well a non-profit he was the leader of would perform. This is something that many non-profit leaders are “guilty” of, but do not find themselves serving lengthy sentences. The non-profit he was working with was creating a place where interns could live while working on Capitol Hill. It didn’t meet its goals in the timeline hoped for and it is being argued that enemies of Stockman used that as an opportunity to attack. Stockman was always a firebrand member of Congress that had no problem holding politicians accountable. That led, his supporters argue, to him having many enemies. Those enemies are believed to be behind Stockman’s legal problems, according to his supporters.
Ten years was incredibly long for a crime of this nature. It can be argued that the punishment did not fit the crime. In addition, Stockman has several underlying health issues that could turn his ten year sentence into a death penalty because of the rampant spread of COVID in prisons. He is in his 60s, suffers from diabetes, and is obese. Each of these are among the classic examples of underlying conditions.
In addition, the way the case was prosecuted was very questionable according to journalist Rachel Alexander. She wrote about “how the news media buried a story regarding how the FBI and DOJ suborned perjury and rigged a conviction of former Congressman Steve Stockman (R-Texas)…” “…a key witness in the trial, Ben Wetmore, lays out in detail how he was repeatedly threatened and pressured to change his testimony, and asked to falsely claim he was running a spy network for Stockman.” She goes on, “Ironically, it was Hillary Clinton who hired a spy to spy on the Trump campaign. Wetmore was an attorney for one of the nonprofits Stockman was involved with. Prior to Trump, Stockman was on the top of Obama’s enemies list. (According to former government officials, Obama kept multiple enemies lists).”
Stockman’s allies, which include many key supporters of President Donald Trump, argue that the entire investigation and the case against him were unusual at best, politically motivated at worst. Stockman is the kind of person that the President would likely want to help. In Congress, Stockman took on battles that others often did not have the tenacity to touch, his worldview was very much in line with President Trump, and it appears that the former Congressman received the kind of treatment from the media and the government that Trump would clearly see as “unfair” in light of his own experiences.
Don’t be surprised if Stockman receives the gift of a pardon this Christmas.
By the USA Daily Chronicles Editorial Board.