Story by Michelle Hunter (News Writer)
President Donald Trump has recently been in the news for purging office officials and for pardoning criminals. Rumor has it that Trump is merely purging officials to sate his anger at those who may have crossed him.
According to Axios, John Mcentee, who leads the White House Presidential Personnel, called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies and asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. Government who are believed to be Anti-Trump. The Washington Post explained this situation very clearly by saying, “What began as a campaign of retribution against officials who participated in the impeachment process has evolved into a full-scale effort to create an administration more fully in sync with Trump’s id and agenda.” President Trump has recently pardoned as many as twenty-six criminals, and because of this, he has been criticized for abusing his expansive pardon powers by not going through the normal review process and apparently favoring white-collar criminals. The most talked-about person who was granted clemency by Trump is Governor Rod Blagojevich. Rod Blagojevich was sentenced fourteen years in prison for various forms of corruption in office. President Trump also pardoned Michael Milken, known as the junk – bond king, he pleaded guilty to securities violations. It has been noticed that many of the people Trump pardoned, he has known and been in contact with since before he was the U.S. President. Rod Blagojevich knew Trump because he was a contestant on Trump’s reality television show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” Milken was friends with Trump before he was prosecuted, and when asked why it was a good idea to pardon Milken, Trump said, “We have Mike Milken, who’s gone around and done an incredible job for the world, with all of his research on cancer, and he’s done this and he suffered greatly. He paid a big price, paid a very tough price.” Trump seems to be personally involved with every person he has pardoned for their crimes. One more example of just how personal he was with these criminals is Bernard Keirk the former New York City police commissioner, who in 2009 pleaded guilty to charges of tax fraud and lying to the government. The interesting thing about Kerik’s connections with Trump is, Kerik was appointed police commissioner by Rudolph Giuliani– better known as Rudy Giuliani- who was then the mayor of New York and is now Trump’s personal lawyer. It’s safe to assume that Giuliani played a role in Trump’s decision to pardon him. This could be considered an abuse of his power as President.