Trump’s Proud Pardons

It isn’t going to take much to identify the Proud Boys and other people that invaded the US Capitol buildings yesterday. Few of them wore masks, there was plenty of camera footage and most of them probably put selfies on social media.

No, the question is not going to be who did it. The question is going to be whether Donald Trump pardons them on his way out the door. On the one hand, these folks are the ‘foot soldiers’ of his political movement. He pardoned the ‘generals’ – Roger Stone and Paul Manafort – so it would look bad if he abandoned his regular troops. Who would go into battle for him again?

On the other hand, Trump cannot pardon folks without knowing their names. So if law enforcement really wants to go after the invaders, they would be wise to keep their names secret until Jan 20 when Joe Biden takes over.

Unless, of course, Trump is impeached or relieved of his duties before then.

Who Won The Kushner Pardon Pool?

Did anyone start a pool? The question was not whether Donald Trump would pardon Charles Kushner, but when it would happen. This was noted a few months into Donald Trump’s presidency – just sayin’.

Jared Kushner may be Jewish, but one can assume that he and his father will enjoy this Christmas present anyway.

Trump The Business

Donald Trump wrote a book about his business acumen and even started a ‘university’ to teach it to others. But like most things Trump, the reality is not as good as he says it is.

I once spoke to a banker about the traders in his company that used computers to trade massive amounts of money and make a few cents on each trade. It was impressive. He replied, not so much. The traders were trading using the bank’s money for free. If they had to borrow the money at market rates instead they would be losing their shirts.

It is a good bet that Trump Inc. is built on a similar model. The economics of his business deals are probably based on getting financing from unsavory characters (alleged mobsters and worse), highly aggressive tax maneuvers and illegal undocumented quid-pro-quo agreements. Trump Inc. might not be a money launderer per se, but you won’t have to scratch the surface very deeply to find the rinse cycle.

This is why Trump is so afraid of Robert Mueller’s investigations. They are bound to uncover the extent of the shady deals he and his family have done to stay in business. And since he and his family make all of the important decisions, there really aren’t a lot of henchmen to take the fall when the truth comes out.

So in addition to the Charles Kushner pardon pool, we ought to be thinking about wagering on pardons for Donald Trump, Jr. and Jared Kushner.

 

It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way

Donald Trump must be wondering. Here’s a guy who acknowledges having been ‘raked over the coals (in public) for thirty years.’ He finally ascends to king of the hill, winning the presidency. It’s time for a little bit of respect, right?

But it is not working out that way. The press, which has never been friendly, is even worst to him. His political party cannot seem to get things done, which makes him look weak, which is the opposite of the strong presidential image he deserves.

Heck, he can’t even get respect from his own administration. The press continues to get plenty of leaks from the White House, which totally pisses him off unless of course he is the leaker. His press secretary doesn’t seem to be able to make him look good – he had to go. Even his attorney general won’t go to bat for him. This guy was one of his most loyal supporters and now he’s just ducking the hard stuff.

No, Trump must feel like he got the ultimate raw deal. Which may be part of the explanation for his tweets about pardoning. He may be thinking, “Screw it. I don’t care about the recognition and respect. I’m just gonna do what I want and if they want to come after me and my family they can. I’ll just pardon our way out.”

Charles Kushner Pardon Pool

The odds are pretty high that Donald Trump will pardon Charles Kushner before he leaves office. After all, Kushner is the father of his son-in-law Jared. More importantly, Charles Kushner is one of the grandfathers of Jared Kushner’s three children, and Donald Trump is the other one.

The question is only when this will happen? Will Trump wait until the end of his presidency like most other presidents have done when it came to controversial pardons? Or will he just do it when he feels like it?

If your office or political club is looking for a pool to bet on, it is time to set one up for Charles.