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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Trump wants us to believe white-collar crimes aren’t crimes

Rod Blagojevich
Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich speaks next to his wife after receiving a commutation by President Trump on Tuesday.
(Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Based on the crimes committed by the 11 people to whom President Trump just granted clemency, our president is trying to get us to believe that white-collar crimes — which he has credibly been accused himself of committing — are not crimes at all.

Along with imploding the Department of Justice and desecrating our environment, the president is dragging our country down to the lowest possible level of morality. When will it end?

Karl F. Schmid, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Your editorial rebukes Trump, stating that a “principled” president would not bestow clemency on “prominent or political bedfellows or cronies” as a way to reward supporters.

President Clinton made 456 clemency grants, 140 of which were issued just hours before leaving office. His list includes relatives, political cronies and even domestic terrorists.

In contract, Michael Milkin, who was pardoned by Trump, served his time and has worked to become an exemplary philanthropist. Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich received a commutation after serving more than half his sentence and remains a felon.

Your editorial’s opening complaint about perversion of the presidential pardon power to benefit undeserving recipients with whom the president shares a personal or political affinity is more properly directed toward Clinton, not Trump.

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Georgette Herget, El Segundo

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To the editor: In my eyes, Trump’s un-American commutation of Blagojevich’s sentence is the last straw in a long line of abhorrent transgressions.

For years, I have given Trump the benefit of the doubt. I supported his tax cuts and his attempt to curtail the devastating impact of the authoritarian Chinese state. However, enough is enough.

Blagojevich attempted to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat. He undermined, in the most heinous fashion, the sacred trust of the American people. Now, Trump has done the same thing by commuting Blagojevich’s sentence.

First, it was Blagojevich placing a monetary value on a Senate seat. Today, it’s billionaires trying to buy the presidency. What is next? This madness must end now.

We must vote for candidates who wish to end our corrupt campaign finance system; moreover, we must vote to restore the power of our votes.

Henry Wilson, Barrington, Ill.

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To the editor: Disregarding the possibility that Congress can impeach him, the president’s pardon power is absolute. As Lord Acton predicted, this corrupts absolutely.

Rodney Hoffman, Montecito Heights


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