At any normal point in the history of this country, a person promising the president’s friend a pardon, pre-trial, would be an administration-defining event, a scandal never to be wiped from history. With respect to the Trump administration, it is merely another event, though a significant one, but there are a lot of significant ones. The Washington Post has a bombshell report out that catches Matt Gaetz promising Roger Stone that he’ll receive a “get out of jail free card.”
At an event at a Trump property that October, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) predicted that Stone would be found guilty at his trial in Washington the following month but would not “do a day” in prison. Gaetz was apparently unaware they were being recorded by documentary filmmakers following Stone, who special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had charged with obstruction of a congressional investigation.
“The boss still has a very favorable view of you,” said Gaetz, stressing that the president had “said it directly.” He also said, “I don’t think the big guy can let you go down for this.”
Wow. It kinda’ sounds like a mob boss who has a prosecutor in his pocket, doesn’t it? Except this organized crime racket didn’t need a prosecutor in its pocket (though it had one handy) because the head of the family could pardon anyone he wanted, like a magic wand or fascist dictator.
There is some comedic value to the story:
Gaetz at one point told Stone he was working on getting him a pardon but was hesitant to say more backstage at the event, in which speakers were being filmed for online broadcast. “Since there are many, many recording devices around right now, I do not feel in a position to speak freely about the work I’ve already done on that subject,” Gaetz said.
If Gaetz only knew how well Venmo operated as a “recording device,” he might have given more thought to the potential ramifications of allegedly paying underage girls for sex… probably not, but maybe.
Well, again. A normal president would simply be impeached for pardoning and granting clemency to his friends, even without a recording, especially friends that might be the link between Wikileaks and the Russian government. Unfortunately for Roger Stone, he only had his sentence commuted. A full pardon would’ve waived Stone’s Fifth Amendment rights, meaning he’d have to testify about what he did for Trump, especially as it concerns Wikileaks and Russia. ‘Can’t have that.
It was a well-run crime organization, unlike the administration itself.
The audio recording can be found here.