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Clinton-Appointed Judge Calls Trump a ‘Criminal’ Who ‘Pardons Other Criminals’

'Apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer, or a turkey...'

A sitting federal judge in Iowa slammed President Trump as a “criminal [who] pardons other criminals.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt was referring to a string of recent pardons Trump gave to some of his close allies, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort and informal adviser Roger Stone.

“It’s not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals,” Pratt said. “But apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer, or a turkey.”

Pratt argued pardons should be reserved for those who were wronged by the justice system, not for those engaged in “political corruption”—even though President Bill Clinton, who appointed Pratt in 1997, notoriously pardoned his own political donors as apparent quid-pro-quo favors.

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He claimed those who abuse positions of public trust for personal gain must face severe consequences, in order to deter misconduct and promote public confidence.

Otherwise, he warned, “political corruption will slowly corrode the foundations of our democracy until it collapses under its own weight.”

Pratt isn’t the only official who has criticized Trump’s decision to pardon loyalists.

Retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey called the pardons a “misuse of power,” even if they were technically legal.

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“Some of these other cases—I mean, my goodness—we have tax fraud and bank fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, but because they were close to the president, they got pardoned?” Toomey said.

Former Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie also dismissed Trump’s pardon of businessman Charles Kushner, whom Christie prosecuted when he served as New Jersey’s district attorney.

“What it doesn’t overshadow is the extraordinary work that my office did 16 years ago, with assistant U.S. attorneys Ralph Marra and Scott Resnik, who were professional prosecutors who brought that case,” Christie said of Trump’s pardon.

“Let’s remember that the case was not tried. Mr. Kushner pled guilty,” the former Republican governor added.

“So, we will stand on the record of our—of our prosecution at that time and of the conduct that was engaged in the case,” he continued. “And that’s the only thing that really matters to me. The responsibility I had at the time was to prosecute federal crimes that occurred in New Jersey without fear or favor,” he added.

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