Statement of Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn
Americans expect and deserve a President who respects the rule of law, not one who abuses his power to undermine lawful convictions and attempts to whitewash his own corrupt presidency. With tonight’s pardons and commutations, President Trump has once again gravely abused the power of the presidency. Instead of granting pardons as an act of clemency for those who regret their crimes, he is engaged in an effort to hide his own malfeasance by undermining the Russia probe and other political corruption issues. This is a reprehensible abuse of the pardon power, and Congress should immediately investigate. It is also clear that Congress must address abuses of the pardon power and hold President Trump and any future Presidents who abuse the power of the pardon accountable. We urge swift passage of the Protecting Our Democracy Act and other reforms to reinforce that the President is not above the law.
President Trump cannot change history and the long line of criminal convictions that followed in the wake of his campaign and his presidency. Sadly, it seems unlikely that these will be the last of President Trump’s abuses of the pardon power, but he cannot rewrite history or repair the reputation of his presidency by further abusing his pardon power.