Speculation that President Trump might ax key members of the Russia probe has ramped up following the FBI’s raids on the offices, home and hotel room of his personal lawyer on Monday. Speaking to the White House press corps the next day, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump’s looking at all his options regarding what he’s repeatedly denounced as a “witch hunt.” But “The Big Voice on the Right” says Trump would only make things worse by firing Robert Mueller or Rod Rosenstein; the best move would be to “start pardoning people.”
The targeting of Michael Cohen, said Trump, is nothing but a “distraction” from the “bogus” Russia probe. “It’s an investigation into Trump colluding with Russia to steal the election,” said Limbaugh. “It didn’t happen. … The only collusion is with the Hillary camp and the DNC and the Russians. So this thing is a gigantic distraction. And it has one purpose, and that’s to get rid of Donald Trump.”
But Trump would only being drawing out the process if he fired Mueller et al, said Rush. “Firing people doing the investigation is not gonna stop the investigation,” he said. “It’s just gonna transfer it to other people and probably extend it, because whoever replaces whoever gets fired has to start from square one getting up to speed. Firing these people is not gonna accomplish anything.”
If Trump really wants to shut down the side show, he should just go ahead and pardon Cohen and others ensnared in Mueller’s net. Yes, the media would lose their minds, but what else is new?
“[P]ardoning the people who have already copped a plea or are on trial soon or who are under investigation, you pardon people, that’s how you shut this down,” he said. “The media would go bat crazy, of course, but they’re already bat crazy each and every day. How much more bat crazy can they get? And they probably can. But at least you stop the thing that is aimed at bringing you down. And you take those people and you force them to start taking you out in different ways. You’re not gonna stop the establishment trying to take you out if you’re Trump. But you can stop this particular effort, this investigation in its tracks.”
Limbaugh then played a clip of Mediaite’s Dan Abrams discussing the notion of Trump pardoning Cohen with George Stephanopoulos. “I think that if Michael Cohen’s indicted, it’s not a question of if President Trump pardons him; it’s a question of when,” said Abrams. “I think that Michael Cohen is gonna feel very safe that if and when he is indicted, he will be pardoned either before the trial or after the trial, but at some point.”
But Limbaugh pointed out that the potential indictment of Cohen would take a long time, during which the Democrats and the media would be able to continue to use the situation to tear down Trump. Instead of waiting around, Trump should preemptively pardon him, which he has the authority to do.
“There are only two limitations in presidential pardons: Crimes have to be federal,” he explained. “And so with Cohen, Southern District of New York, U.S. attorney, Southern District of New York, this is a federal court, we’ve got a federal investigation, Trump could pardon Cohen before he’s even indicted or charged. Crime has to be federal. Crime has to have happened already. You cannot pardon somebody who has not committed a crime. The crime has to have happened. There’s no forgoing license to commit future crimes. There’s no requirement that an arrest or indictment is already happened.”
As an example, Trump noted that Jimmy Carter mass pardoned Vietnam draft evaders while Abraham Lincoln pardoned Confederate soldiers before indictments were handed down.
Transcript via RushLimbaugh.com