In such partisan times as these, one might look to the judicial system for justice and fairness that rises above politics. But judges are people after all, with their own prejudices.
In Iowa, a federal judge is making his contempt for President Donald Trump and Republicans very clear — slamming president Trump’s Christmastime pardons as a gift to criminals from a criminal president, The Hill reported.
Judge slams “criminal” Trump
The president’s critics have often blasted Trump’s pardons as an abuse of power benefiting friends and allies, and it would seem that Robert Pratt, U.S. District Judge of the Southern District of Iowa, agrees.
A Clinton appointee, Pratt told The Associated Press that it’s “not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals.”
Trump granted a series of pardons just before Christmas, granting clemency to former Republican lawmakers convicted of corruption, military contractors convicted of killing Iraqi civilians, and Trump allies caught up in Robert Mueller’s years-long, dead-end Russian collusion hoax, like Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos.
“Apparently to get a pardon, one has to be either a Republican, a convicted child murderer or a turkey,” Pratt quipped.
Pratt had been asked to comment on pardons that Trump gave to two former Ron Paul campaign aides who bribed a former Republican Iowa state senator, Kent Sorenson, whose own sentencing Pratt oversaw in 2017. Trump did not pardon Sorenson or a third man sentenced in the scheme.
Biased judges have been a frequent complaint of Trump’s throughout his presidency.
In November, Trump pardoned former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, ending what Trump’s base had long considered the political persecution of an innocent man by a hostile, anti-Trump judge, Emmet Sullivan.
Lately, Trump has argued that he hasn’t had his day in court to challenge a “rigged” election as many judges, including Trump appointees, have dismissed lawsuits alleging voter fraud.
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, who defended Trump against the impeachment hoax, called Pratt’s comments concerning.
“Calling the President a criminal and denouncing pardons would seem overtly engaging in a political commentary or activity. It is a troubling departure from the long-standing avoidance of such commentary as counter to the value of judicial impartiality,” he tweeted Wednesday.