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Former DOJ Pardon Official Says Trump Bypassed Regular Channels: ‘Ordinary People’ Won’t Have a Chance at Pardons

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A former Department of Justice official who managed the executive clemency program during much of the ’90s says that President Donald Trump — in commuting the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and pardoning others including former New York police commissioner Bernard Kerik and former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo — circumvented the DOJ and did not follow regular procedure. And in the process, according to this official, the president signaled that the average citizen will find it impossible to get a fair shake vis a vis pardons.

Appearing on SiriusXM’s The Dan Abrams Show, Margaret Love — lead DOJ pardon official for eight years during the administrations of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton — said that she was “particularly troubled” by the idea that Trump had gone around the Justice Department. She added that almost all of those granted leniency on Wednesday had not officially applied for a pardon.

“I knew, because I could see, that the people he pardoned had not applied through the ordinary process” Love said. “In this case, of the 11 granted, I think nine of them were not reflected at all on the docket of the pardon attorney.”

Love told Abrams — the chief legal analyst for ABC News and the founder of Mediaite — that the pardons send an ominous message that most people are going to find pardons impossible to come by, since Trump has essentially rendered the system moot.

“Ordinary people are not going to have a chance,” she said.

Listen above, via SiriusXM.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo