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Tue May 4, 2021, 07:30 PM

Greg Olear: Beg Your Pardon

Tweet text:
Greg Olear
"It is impossible to read Trump's pardon list & not be apoplectic. Yes, there are a handful of deserving beneficiaries sprinkled in, depending on how you feel about Lil Wayne’s gold-plated Glock, but for the most part, this is the '27 Yankees of bad guys."

Beg Your Pardon
The Trump pardons are a travesty of justice and an affront to the rule of law.
4:08 AM · May 4, 2021


On June 15, 2018—a banner day for Justice For All—Paul Manafort was sent to jail.

“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said to the former chair of the Trump campaign, who had filled the time awaiting trial for conspiracy and money-laundering charges by jerking around federal prosecutors. “The government motion will be granted, and the defendant will be detained.”

In that moment, the doors of perception were cleansed. Manafort was not the respectable Republican old hand the press had presented him as during the campaign. He was a full-on mercenary, prostituting himself to the world’s worst dictators and despots, who, out of necessity, paid more. And he was a master of his dark arts.

As a play opens in Provincetown to work out the kinks before moving to Broadway, so Manafort honed the political dirty tricks in Ukraine that he later brought stateside. In Kiev, the role of Donald John Trump was played by Viktor Yanukovych, another portly, venal crook in league with Vladimir Putin, who boosted billions from that country’s treasury, whisking a significant percentage of Ukraine’s GDP offshore. What money he didn’t steal he spent, lavishly, on himself, souping up the Soviet-era Mezhyhirya Residence into the sort of palatial crib that even Louis Quatorze would call de trop. Meanwhile, ordinary Ukrainians couldn’t get basic health services because of chronic underfunding. But Paul Manafort didn’t give a Roger Stone’s ass about the travails of ordinary Ukrainians. He merrily partook of his cut of the loot.

With Yanukovych and Trump, Manafort shares a taste for the tacky and ostentatious, pouring his ill-gained Ukrainian millions into things like oriental rugs and ostrich-skin jackets. This is the sort of soulless monster who would pimp out his grandmother to upgrade from economy to first class. (Pimping out his relations is not hyperbole, if what his daughters allege in their text messages is to be believed.)


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