But Thanksgiving is also the time for pardoning turkeys. This week, Trump pardoned a bird named Butter, who visited the White House with his alternate, Bread. That’s fitting, because pardoning turkeys has been Trump’s bread and butter.
Most famously, he pardoned former sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court over his mistreatment of immigrants. And this month, over objections from the military, Trump gave clemency to three U.S. troops in war-crimes cases — and now reportedly wants them to campaign for him.
Trump may have the power to pardon, but his moral justification is poultry.
He even made the ceremonial pardoning of Bread and Butter divisive. He quipped that the birds had “already received subpoenas to appear in Adam Schiff’s basement.” And he suggested journalists support turkeys because they “are closely related to vultures.”
I have no authority to pardon, but like Trump I feel free to exercise nonexistent powers. Therefore, in the Thanksgiving spirit, your Impeachment Diarist proposes to grant clemency to the following figures — under the condition that they don’t recidivate. If they do, they should be roasted and carved.
I hereby pardon “Democratic” pollster Mark Penn, who once advised President Bill Clinton, for going to the White House to advise Trump on beating impeachment.
I pardon Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, for his reported attempt at playing P.I. by meeting a shadowy Ukrainian figure about the Bidens.
I also pardon Nunes for threatening to sue outlets that reported this “fake” allegation, following his numerous nuisance lawsuits against news organizations, critics and a fictitious cow that harassed him on Twitter.
I pardon Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host who declared that he supports Russia in its war against Ukraine. (“I’m serious,” he said, then later claimed he was joking.)
I pardon Alan Dershowitz, who responded to the court ruling that Trump is not a king by saying: “The president’s far more powerful than the king.”
I pardon Ivanka Trump for tweeting an anti-impeachment quotation she falsely attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville.
I pardon Adam Schiff for his “parody” reading of Trump’s infamous phone call, which marred his otherwise steady leadership.
I pardon Judge Richard Leon for postponing arguments in his impeachment-related case until the investigation is over.
I pardon Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) for exposing a secure intelligence facility to foreign surveillance, confusing “Captain Kangaroo” with a “kangaroo court” and other crimes against his own dignity.
I pardon former GOP congressman Sean Duffy, Republican counsel Steve Castor and others who suggested Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient, is disloyal because he emigrated from the Soviet Union as a 3-year-old.
I pardon Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) for exonerating Trump by saying “everybody has their impression of what truth is.”
I pardon Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for attempting to expose the whistleblower while suggesting the anonymous intelligence officer is corrupt.
I pardon Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for endorsing an investigation of the debunked, Russia-promoted falsehood that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election — even though the former CIA director knows better.
I pardon Donald Trump Jr. for not knowing better.
I pardon the human “hand grenade” Rudy Giuliani for his “drug deal” and all crimes prosecutors are now investigating.
I pardon John Bolton for prioritizing his Twitter account over testifying about wrongdoing he witnessed.
And I pardon Trump for witness intimidation, jury tampering, bribery, extortion, abuse of power, campaign-law violations, obstruction of justice, contempt of Congress, and all the rest. I do so unreservedly but with one condition: that he find new work.
At a rally Tuesday night, Trump vowed to stop “some people” who “want to change the name Thanksgiving.” Mr. President, please pursue this worthy if imaginary battle full time, in lieu of your other duties. A grateful nation would truly have cause to give thanks.