Las Vegas Sun

December 14, 2018

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

Don’t abuse the power to pardon

Earlier this year, Paul Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, one count of failing to file, and two counts of bank fraud. The jury found Manafort hid millions in offshore accounts from tax authorities derived from aiding foreign powers, spending the money to support an extravagant lifestyle, and then defrauding banks out of millions more when his funds ran low.

Now, special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing Manafort of violating his plea agreement to avoid a trial on additional charges by lying to the FBI.

A new poll from Law Works found that 62 percent of Republicans believe indictments against President Donald Trump's associates generated by the Mueller probe should not be dropped or dismissed. Yet it is possible that Trump will issue a pardon to this morally bankrupt man for one reason and one reason alone: He is willing to lie to protect the president or those around him from accountability. No American, and certainly not a president charged with duly administering the laws, should countenance allowing a man who cheated the United States and its citizens for such nefarious purposes to avoid the consequences of his crimes.

Pardons are meant to rectify injustice, not create it. Under no circumstances should Trump pardon Paul Manafort.

The writer is a legal advisor for Republicans for the Rule of Law, a nonprofit advocacy group.