With all of the controversy already present as a result of the presidential election, the last thing President Trump needs is discussion about members of his campaign staff.
Paul Manafort; President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Rick Gates, former business associate of Manafort; and George Papadopoulos, former Trump campaign advisor, have all been indicted on charges involving the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference, said The Washington Post.
According to Article II of the Constitution of the United States, “he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States.” The indictments included federal charges, which means they can be pardoned by President Trump.
The question becomes: Will President Trump pardon the officials if they are convicted?
President Trump will be left with a decision between pardoning those who helped him get elected and allowing the justice system’s decision to control their fate as it would for any other person convicted of a federal offense.
If the officials are convicted, Trump should not pardon them. They committed a crime and should deal with the consequences of their actions.
Why should individuals who are involved with a campaign receive special treatment?
Other presidents have pardoned individuals who had government influence. Those individuals include former President Richard Nixon; Nixon was convicted of obstruction of justice charges during the Watergate Scandal.
The law should be enforced regardless of who the person is. Making distinctions between government officials and constituents only creates a feeling of distrust.
Although the president would have the ability to pardon the individuals if they are convicted, Trump should not create a distinction between government officials and individuals during a presidency that is already riddled by skepticism.