Marc Short, the former chief of staff for Vice President Mike Pence, criticized the pardons granted by former President Donald Trump in the final hours of his administration. Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Short condemned the pardons, highlighting the pardoning of “cocaine traffickers, family members, and people guilty of violent crimes” as one of the most troubling aspects of Trump’s presidency. Short called for a genuine conversation about the appropriate use of the presidential pardon power and criticized Trump’s record on pardons as indefensible.
Controversial Pardons by Trump
On his last day in office, January 20, 2021, Trump issued 73 pardons and 70 sentence commutations. Among the recipients were Steve Bannon, a former White House adviser, and rappers Lil Wayne and Kodak Black. The list also included former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who had been serving a near-30-year sentence on corruption charges. These pardons sparked considerable debate and criticism due to the individuals’ criminal histories and the perceived lack of merit or justice in their cases.
Short’s Criticism of Trump’s Pardons
Marc Short expressed his strong disapproval of Trump’s pardons during his appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” He labeled them as one of the most unseemly aspects of the end of the Trump administration. Short specifically highlighted the pardoning of individuals involved in cocaine trafficking, family members, and those guilty of violent crimes as particularly concerning. He called for a meaningful discussion about the responsible exercise of the presidential pardon power, emphasizing that Trump’s track record on pardons was indefensible.
Examining the Power of the Presidential Pardon
According to New York Post, Short’s remarks raise important questions about the use and limitations of the presidential pardon power. While the power of the pardon is granted to the president as a means of addressing potential injustices in the legal system, it must be exercised judiciously and with consideration for public perception. Short’s comments highlight the need for a robust conversation about the criteria and ethical guidelines for issuing pardons, ensuring that the power is not abused or used for political gain.
Pence’s Defense of Trump’s Right to a Fair Trial
On the same day that Marc Short made his comments, Vice President Mike Pence defended Donald Trump’s right to have his day in court during an appearance on television. Pence evaded questions about whether Trump should be convicted if the allegations against him are proven true. While Pence did not directly address the issue of Trump’s pardons, his response suggests a reluctance to make definitive judgments about Trump’s actions before legal proceedings have taken place.